AHA Wall Street Run & Heart Walk 2012

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Today is National Running Day, and while I'm not clocking much mileage at this point in my pregnancy, I had the opportunity to participate in the American Heart Association'sWall Street Run & Heart Walk last week with Team Jenny Craig and brand ambassador Valerie Bertinelli.

Team Jenny Craig Wall Street Association 2012 with Valerie Bertinelli

Heart health is a personal issue for many families, including my own, as heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. According to Dana Fiser, Global CEO of Jenny Craig, 42% of the country will be obese by 2030. Evidence shows that losing 5-10% of your body weight reduces your risk for cardiovascular diseases through improvements in blood cholesterol levels.

Exercise is good, that's a no-brainer. It's fun events like the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk that provide the motivation. I've actually run this event a few times in the past so I was honored to be able to participate again this year, even with my big belly.

"Team Jenny" leader Valerie Bertinelli famously lost 40 pounds through Jenny Craig in 2007 and inspired her mother, who had emergency heart valve replacement surgery in 2008, to lose 54 pounds on the program as well. I was looking forward to strolling alongside her and chatting about itty bitty blue bikinis, Van Halen, and Mackenzie Phillips but despite announcing her strategy to walk the first 2 miles with the team, she bolted out of the gate and never looked back.

Fortunately, Mitch, Ellen, and Alicia stuck with Team Jill and we enjoyed a gorgeous evening in Lower Manhattan. I've never really spent much time that far downtown, especially since 9/11, but I have fond memories from a summer I worked in the World Financial Center before my senior year of college. Walking the quaint, curvy streets overflowing with young business professionals at happy hour left me feeling nostalgic and really appreciative to be strolling down memory lane, literally.

The finish line at the World Financial Center had us ending alongside the Hudson River just as the sun was making its final descent over Jersey City. I was stiff immediately after but woke up feeling energized and accomplished.

Thank you to Jenny Craig for sponsoring us!

Did you lace up today and make strides towards living a healthier lifestyle?

{I was not compensated for this post. My participation in the walk was sponsored by Jenny Craig and I will be receiving a complimentary month of the Jenny-Set-Go program.}