Heart Walk

Yesterday I attended an annual heart walk event at Ocean City NJ. This event was hosted by NJM Insurance Group in order to bring awareness to the importance of keeping your heart healthy through healthy lifestyle. The event had a really good showing. It was comforting to see so many care for something that has the potential to impact each and everyone of us.

Just a side note: I am not being paid by NJM Insurance Group in any way to mention them in this post. In fact, they don’t even know I’m writing this. I feel they deserve to be mentioned for bringing attention to this important subject. There were other sponsors as well such as the Ottinger Golf Group and other sponsors.

Reason For Going

I can’t lie to you guys, I wasn’t going to go initially. I didn’t pay much attention to it until by co-workers bought it up. It was a company function and it’d fulfill one of my goals on the company agenda for the year. Yes, it’s shameful isn’t it? I went purely for the purpose of completing a goal I HAD to complete, not because I wanted to.

It was for a selfish reason. I didn’t realize the importance of events like this until I actually attended it yesterday. Even about 3 days prior to the event, I started looking into what this event was about. I see the message of bringing awareness to heart attacks and heart disease that plagues so many individuals today. There will be heart attack survivors and awards presented. I wasn’t all that excited. I still looked at it like another company function.

Experiences Of Survivors

It wasn’t until when the heart attack survivors were on stage that I really understood the severity of this problem and the reason for bringing awareness to it. There were 4 survivors that were introduced to the crowd. Unfortunately, my phone died at the time and my dumb self did not bring a camera, so I don’t have any photos from the event. But I will do my best to describe my experience there and the survivors’ experiences.

The first survivor was a 3 year old boy. He’s had a heart condition since birth and many surgeries. He is due for another surgery later this year. The mother holding the boy was telling us his story through the microphone as the boy was playing with his toy. The condition was detected by doctors through a screening method that New Jersey hospitals had adopted roughly 5 years ago. Thanks to that screening, the family caught the condition early on and was able to work together with insurance to get their child the proper treatment to preserve his life.

The other 3 survivors were courageous people that followed a discipline lifestyle after finding out their health was at risk due to their heart conditions. One individual’s significant other passed away and she was at a low point in her life. But she didn’t give up and lost over 100 pounds and regulated her blood sugar levels to normal ranges without medication. The other 2 survivors had also lost a lot of excess weight and they were all recognized for their efforts in changing their lifestyle for the better.

The CEO of the Ottinger Golf Group also gave a brief speech about his experience with heart disease, which took his father’s life. He recalled how heavy drinking and smoking contributed to his father’s poor health, and the eventual disease that caused him his life. He said that whether it’s you or a love one that needs a lifestyle change to improve their health, you are showing love to yoapple-570965_640ur family and friends by making the change. By changing your own lifestyle for the better, you’ll be giving your family a peace of mind with your improved health. Of course, we’d urge our loved ones to do the same because we want to see them live a healthy life.

More Than Just An Awareness Event

To me, this event had a big impact. Especially since I wasn’t very interested initially, now I see the importance of it having been to it. There aren’t words to describe the feeling of seeing someone in real-life giving their personal experience about a life-changing event. It’s easy to read it through a book or a computer screen, but listening  to someone in real-life is a totally different world.

Everyone knew what the purpose of the event was: to bring awareness. But there were many other lessons I learned through actually attending. Lessons that I definitely would not have learned if I didn’t go, or even just listening to my co-workers talk about it. That in itself is a lesson for me. Here are some of the other gems I learned through this:

  • Anyone can be affected by heart attacks/disease
  • Even though money is donated, that’s not the sole purpose. Showing up is showing your support and it greatly encourages anyone affected by a heart condition
  • Think for a minute if you, a family member, or close friend is affected by this, how would this type of support make you feel
  • Don’t ever count anything out until you’ve actually done it. It’s easy to blow things off because we think we already know what it’s all about. Give it a chance.
  • If it’s for a good cause, show your support for it however you can. Now that I’ve been to it, even if I cannot attend next year, I’ll be sure to show my support in other ways.

Benefits Of Doing Our Part

This article wasn’t meant to just bring awareness to heart attacks and heart disease. It’s also meant to show the importance of doing our part in supporting what we believe in, and don’t count something out so easily, especially something that we may not be well-versed in.

In addition to seeing the benefits of contributing to a certain cause, we get a peace of mind in knowing that we are following in the direction of our beliefs.

Have you personally participated in events like these? What was your experience at these events? What have you learned? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Stay healthy,


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Written by 

I've just started getting serious about health and fitness around 2014. Since then I've learned the insider info on how to optimize athletic performance and healthy living through both nutrition and proper training. The most important thing I've discovered however, is the connection between the mindset of those that excel in athletics, and those that succeed in their life pursuits. I've spent the last couple years observing and drawing these connections and similarities, finally created a platform to share with you all what I've found, and how to apply them in your own life to get similar results.

10 thoughts on “2016 Southern NJ Annual Heart Walk- My Experience and Takeaways

  1. Great article highlighting a very important cause. You’re right that anyone can be affected by heart disease, but it is really possible to minimize that, by changing the lifestyle. As you wrote giving up smoking and drinking is very important. I have also read that vegetarians and vegans especially, suffer from hear diseases less often. Have you heard about that?

    1. Kristof,

      Yes I have heard of that. Diet plays a big role in our overall health, especially cardiovascular. I think the absence of processed meats is a big plus for vegans and vegetarians.


  2. Hello Wing,

    Heart attacks in North America are unfortunately one of the main causes of deaths both in US and Canada. The events like these featuring survivors certainly make people more aware about this huge problem. I hope that these survivors (in regards to the boy, his mother) had a chance to educate themselves on how to decrease the chance of this occurring and can pass this knowledge to their loved ones. I think at the events like this more emphasis should be put on how to prevent this problem in the first place i.e. drastically changing a diet.

    1. Margarita,

      Yes, in addition to awareness, prevention was also highlighted.The survivors wanted others to apply the prevention techniques they had learned so that others can avoid having to go through what they had. Thank you for your comment!


  3. that sounds like a great event for a great cause. Thanks for brining it to our attention. Just three weeks ago I had a friend who had a sudden heart attack and died. It sure can come suddenly. I have one a lot of walking for health reasons, just one of the reasons is heart health. The other reason was to help lower cholesterol. But I do like exercise in general to help with overall health. I believe in it. Thanks for the great website, JIm.

    1. Jim,

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Life definitely has sudden changes for everyone at the most unexpected times. Keep up with the exercise, I’m sure it’s going a long way for your health.


  4. Very nice article on heart disease, you know I read heart disease is still the number one cause of deaths today. even as high as cancer is today heart disease still takes more lives then any other disease.

    I think its great you participated in this walk just to help others, I also participate in health walks and other volunteer activities as well so I understand why you do this it comes from your heart.

    1. Thank you for your participation in health and volunteer events! These events are really encouraging for not just those that have been affected but everyone there as well.


  5. Hi Wing First thank-you for your article on raising awareness on heart disease and heart attacks. Many of us need to get off our butts and do more to get our heart in better shape.
    I think the younger generation today has become less active and that will affect them later in life. Video games and computers are good but they do have a downside if you are in front of them too much.
    You can however have heart disease and not even know it. Years ago a friend of ours son who was about 17 at the time was playing basketball and he suddenly just keeled over. By the time an ambulance got there he was dead. Turns out he had some rare form of heart disease that could have been detected with a simple test. Since no one previous in the family had any experience with heart failure the test was never administered.
    These are the things that people become more aware of when people like you help spread the word. Thank-you!

    1. Maureen,

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s son. That must be a tragic loss especially for the parents to lose their child at such a young age. Sometimes it’s difficult to diagnose rare conditions even IF tests are done. We can only hope that technology and our understanding of the medical field continue to expand so we can tackle issues like these.

      And you are absolutely correct. I feel the same way with the younger generation today not getting enough exercise. Hopefully it doesn’t take a tragedy like that of your friend’s son to wake people up to the importance of their health,


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