More ways to move: Heart to Heart class highlights exercise
by Margaret Hurlbert
March 15, 2023

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though most people know that exercise has health benefits, getting started or trying a new type of exercise can feel daunting. As the next entry in their Heart to Heart community education series, UnityPoint Health hopes to demystify how exercise can contribute to a heart healthy lifestyle and offer easy ways to get started with their Exercise and Heart Health program. Taking place March 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Musser Public Library (408 East Second Street in Muscatine), this free hour long class will answer many common questions about exercise and feature live tutorials to introduce people to different kinds of exercises they can continue to do on their own.

Stephanie Bujalski, a registered nurse and cardiac rehab specialist at UnityPoint Health–Trinity Muscatine, shared that this instalment of Heart to Heart will focus on giving people simple exercises they can do independently to improve their health in several different ways. At the event, Bujalski’s colleague, Tammy Thurston, a registered nurse and the cardiac rehab lead at UnityPoint Health–Trinity Muscatine, will teach attendees stretches to increase flexibility, weight selection for effective weight training, cardio exercises with and without equipment, the benefits of walking, the signs of overexertion, and how to chunk exercising to work up to longer increments.

Along with this practical information, Teresa Pangan, who specializes in prevention and wellness strategy at UnityPoint Health–Trinity Muscatine, will look at the various ways exercise can improve heart health such as by building strength and stamina, improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, managing weight, and contributing to stress reduction and a positive outlook.  Pangan hopes to emphasize how regular exercise can, “help people feel better now and feel younger now,” and discover the right kinds of exercise to keep them motivated to stay with it and reap long term benefits. “There are a million different ways to be healthy, and we want to give them the tools to find the best ways for them,” she said.

Teresa Pangan. Photo courtesy UnityPoint Health.

Anyone who would like to attend Heart to Heart: Exercise and Heart Health may do so for free by registering online. Open to the public, Bujalski encourages anyone wanting to take charge of their health at any age to consider attending. “In all reality, I think anyone can benefit from heart health,” she observed.

Whether you need inspiration to get moving or would just like to expand your exercise repertoire, Bujalski and Pangan hope to have a large turnout at their upcoming Heart to Heart class and for attendees to benefit from the information they have to share. “We only get one heart and one body, Bujalski stressed. “We really want people to have strong, healthy lives, “Pangan added.

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