As the Charity sponsor, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica endorses the work of the Jamdammers in the staging an event which promotes exercise as a daily routine for a healthy lifestyle. The Foundation’s participation also brings to everyone’s attention the benefits of a regular exercise programme as a means of not only maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but more importantly in helping to prevent the onset of heart disease.
In its ninth staging the annual Reggae Marathon organized by the Jamdammers Running club of Kingston will be held on December 5 2009 in Negril, and attracts Jamaican and overseas participants.
The mandate of the Club is to expose and develop world-class talent at middle and long distance road races as well as improve discipline and healthy lifestyle practices in Jamaica.
Training for a marathon requires discipline and dedication and must be founded on continuous aerobic exercise to be able to handle the distance of the race. Aerobic exercise is the recommended type of exercise to strengthen the heart and lungs and improve the body’s ability to use oxygen. Additionally exercise helps the body to produce endorphins in the brain, which provide a sense of well being. Over time, aerobic exercise can lead to a decrease in your heart rate and blood pressure and improvement in your breathing. Exercise also reduces the fat content in the body; this leads to a further decrease in the blood pressure, and in the diabetic patient helps to control blood sugar levels. Exercise helps to prevent and control five of the main risk factors for heart disease, namely hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol levels, inactivity and obesity.
The objective of the Foundation is to reduce the incidence of death from heart disease in Jamaica by prevention through education, early detection through screening programmes, and rehabilitation through education about healthy lifestyles.
The offices of the Foundation are located at 28 Beechwood Avenue in Kingston. The building boasts a pharmacy, offering prescription and over the counter drugs, facilities for ECG testing and medical screening, and a room to facilitate medical training for lay persons and medical practitioners. There are two Cardiac clinics as well as a Nutritional, Diabetic, Hypertension and Renal clinic, which like the medical tests may be accessed with or without referrals.
In addition to in house screening the Foundation, in its effort to address the national problem of heart disease, has a mobile screening. Persons may access our medical screening tests and receive counseling on what to do if they need to control or maintain the risk factors for which they have been screened. These may be pre-arranged and done at health centres, company offices, expos and social groups upon request.
According to Deborah Chen, Executive Director of the Foundation, “We applaud the work of the Jamdammers; the continued growth of Reggae Marathon is a testament to their commitment to provide world-class road races and improving healthy lifestyle practices in Jamaica. The Heart Foundation of Jamaica will continue to partner with the Jamdammers to promote the important message of exercise being a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.”