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Healthy Heart event is Feb. 13

WORTHINGTON -- Though most birds have long-since migrated south for the winter, two local celebirdys by the names of Bluejay and Paycheck will stick around long enough to lead the two-mile Sweet Healthy Heart Walk during the upcoming Healthy Heart Family Celebration.

The event, themed "Birds of a Feather Getting Healthy Together," will be from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Worthington Area YMCA- DeGroot Family Center.

Pre-registration for the celebration's two-mile walk is due at noon Friday and will guarantee participants a long-sleeved shirt; though day of event registration will also be available beginning at 8 a.m. Last year's inaugural walk drew more than 80 participants and featured YMCA Executive Director Andy Johnson in a flowing red gown.

"Never again," he said with a laugh. "This year my plan is just to go for a nice walk like everyone else." The walk will leave from the YMCA, 1501 College Way, at 9:30 a.m.

The event will also feature health screenings by Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington staff, including free checks of glucose, blood pressure, oxygen saturation level and analysis of body composition and Body Mass Index; and low-cost cholesterol checks.

"The college is definitely involved with law enforcement students and nursing students involved as well," Johnson added.

There will be door prize drawings throughout the day; and YMCA membership specials and coupons from local merchants will be available. A free group cycling class for "early birds" is slated from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.

After working up an appetite, walk participants and other visitors can munch on healthy snacks at a display about nutritious eating.

"We will have some activities for young kids; some games and some nutritional snack-type activities," Johnson explained. Daycare will also be available.

New this year, the Community Blood Bank Bloodmobile also will be on hand from 8 a.m. to noon to take blood donations.

Those interested in the health screenings may call 376-6197 in advance to set up an appointment, but pre-registration is not required.

The event is sponsored by the Worthington Area YMCA, Community Blood Bank, Sanford Worthington, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, US 104, and the Daily Globe.