My first NSG initiative was a great success!!! I planned an active bike ride in the shape of a heart (using Google Maps) through our neighbourhood followed by a presentation on the risks of heart disease and how to keep your heart healthy. I invited neighbours with a hand delivered poster as well as friends from my area. On the bright, sunny day of our ride, we wore red t-shirts with an ‘ECG’ and a heart shape as well as attaching red and white streamers on our handlebars. I even wore a red cape from my children’s dress up box! We got a lot of positive attention from pedestrians and drivers as we went along, so it was a good thing that I reviewed bike safety before we started out.
After our ride, we gathered together over brunch while enjoying each other’s company. I spoke as a stroke survivor and heart disease patient about the risks of heart disease and the steps we could all take to lower our chances of suffering either. It is very important that women pay attention to their risk of heart disease and learn more about heart health. Many were surprised to learn, for example, that heart disease is the #1 killer of women worldwide and affects women of all ages.
I was disappointed that a few who had indicated they would attend could not in the end. I later learned it could not have been avoided. I was not expecting that a few who wanted to join the ride did not have bikes, but was able to borrow three bikes to ensure that everyone could participate. Next time I will plan for both of those possibilities.
New neighbours enjoyed meeting each other during the ride and presentation. All participants said they would love to do it again in the spring!
Project Leader: Jennifer Monaghan