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Kickstart Your Heart

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It’s the small things that can quite often make great improvements to your health.

Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death in Australia with the Coalfields district around Cessnock identified as having one of the country’s highest rates.

Identification of the Coalfields epidemic in the 1970s led to the formation of a community awareness program in the late 1980s which then became the Samaritans Foundation’s Coalfields Healthy Heartbeat (CHHB) initiative.

The CHHB program is funded by NSW Ministry of Health to help the Cessnock community to lead a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, physical activity and smoking cessation programs.

Many other organisations are brought together under the umbrella of the program.

Heart Foundation Walking

Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 30 to 40 per cent.

The Heart Foundation says walking regularly has been proven to manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of some cancers and maintain bone density.

If you’re looking for a fun, social and easy way to get active, why not join a local Heart Foundation Walking group?

Healthier Oils Program   

The Healthier Oils program encourages Cessnock food outlets to transition from traditional cooking oils to healthier alternatives to help reduce the consumption of saturated and trans fats within the community.   

The program operates at the local government level with the Cessnock City Council having successfully collaborated with local pubs, clubs, cafes and takeaways to implement the program. 

By increasing awareness of healthy cooking oils, CHHB hopes to spread the message to other communities and food businesses around the Hunter.

Healthy Budget Bites   

More than just a cookbook, Healthy Budget Bites teaches you the secret to healthy eating on a budget and helps you save money, save time and eat well.  

The guide is full of useful tips including planning healthy meals, writing a shopping list, buying fruit and vegetables that are in season and healthy lunchbox ideas.   

The recipes follow a simple step-by-step method and can be made for one person or for the whole family. Each recipe includes a basic nutrition analysis per serve. In addition, it offers information intended to assist with everyday healthy eating and low cost living. 

To register for the Heart Foundation Walking Group, contact Coalfields Healthy Heartbeat on 4993 3420, or visit www.walking.heartfoundation.org.au For a copy of the Healthy Budget Bites cookbook go to www.samaritans.org.au/services/community-support/coalfields-healthy-heartbeat

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