Strong Women Healthy Heart Participants Walk More Than 7 Million Steps

The first session of the Strong Women Healthy Hearts program in Merrill is in the books.

A collaborative program between UW Extension-Lincoln County and Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center, Healthy Hearts is a cardiovascular disease prevention program that aims to help reduce the risk of heart disease through fitness and nutrition education. The program is also designed to help with weight control.

The first class of participants walked more than 7.1-million steps or 3,200 miles over the past four months and tracked their progress with pedometers and recorded their number of steps daily.  Class sessions were held twice a week and included a heart healthy nutrition component in addition to the cardio workout of fitness walking, which involves every major muscle group in the body.  Healthy Heart classes meet for about 1 hour twice a week for 12 weeks.

The Strong Woman Program was developed by Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Police at Tufts University. This scientifically rigorous study has showed that participants of Health Hearts lost an average of 4.5lbs, 2-inches from their waist, consumed fewer calories, ate fewer dessert foods and walked more than 1600 steps per day.

In Merrill, Ministry Good Samaritan and UW-Extension Lincoln County have been offering both the Healthy Hearts and Strong Bones classes of the Strong Women Program.

‘We were delighted to have an energetic group of participants for our first Healthy Hearts program and look forward to others joining us in our new session next fall,” said Janet Thompson, Community Health and Wellness Educator at Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center.

For more information on the strong Women Program, please contact the UW-Extension Lincoln County at 715.539.1072 or visit

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