World Heart Day & Heart Health

2022-09-29 07:58:00

World Heart Day is a global event that is held annually on September 29th the raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. Heart health is critical for us all, so today, we want to focus on how exercise and running can help maintain fitness and good health.

Walking, jogging, and running are amazing ways to help support your heart with cardiovascular benefits including lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, strengthening your heart muscles, and reducing your risk of heart disease!

We wanted to share an inspiring story of one of our runners, Kevin Lovibond, who in July 2017 suffered a heart attack and used running as a means to recover and enjoy exercise!

Following his heart attack 2017, and after completing 20 weeks of Cardiac Rehab classes, Kevin joined his local gym in January 2018 with the intention of improving, and then maintaining his heart health.

Starting off with elliptical training Kevin added brisk walking to his workout and gradually progressed to walk/jog intervals on a treadmill. The last 12 weeks of the cardiac rehab classes were run by the staff at his local gym where they continued to advise and watch over him as he progressed over a period of 12 months until he was able to run a 30-minute 5k.

Kevin said:

“Once I had built my confidence to run 5K I felt ready to leave the gym and go solo on the local cycle path. I should mention that, in the 58 years prior to my heart attack, I had never been a runner! But, in February 2019 I took part in my first parkrun and loved the feeling of running outdoors so much that I haven't been back to the gym since.”

When Kevin was asked if he felt nervous taking up running for the first time, he replied by saying that he wasn’t because he had been so well advised on how to listen to his body by that time. So, in the summer of that year, Kevin extended some of his runs to 10k, and in September, took part in his first two 10k events at Cardiff and Swansea.

“I loved the buzz of those events so much that I booked ten 10k events for 2020 but unfortunately Covid-19 scuppered everyone's race plans for that year. To keep me motivated I set myself a target of 1000km for the year, which I achieved even though I only ran 95k during the first 3 months due to injury.”

In October, Kevin upped his distances to 10k twice a week and a 10-mile run on weekends to ensure he would hit his target. His target for 2021 was set for 1,000 miles, and included 12 half-marathon runs...even though, at this point, he had never attempted running 13.1 miles!!

Kevin   1

Kevin said:

“My first half was run in February as the solo Virtual Newport Half Marathon, and I beat my target by completing a total of 13 in 2021, including the Front Runner Events Series at the Swansea Half Marathon and the Llanelli Half.”

In 2022, Kevin completed 3 events within 5 weeks at Newport, Cardiff and the Great Welsh Half at Pembrey Country Park. Kevin also took on #RunSwansea and, just recently, #Runelli last Sunday!

It’s fair to say that Kevin is driven to achieve or beat any goals that he sets himself…particularly when it comes to running! As Kevin approaches 63 years of age, he’s aiming to continue improving but is a strong advocate of listening to your body and being in tune with what feels right. One of the most important things for Kevin is to live a healthy lifestyle and remain active.

Remember to always consult a doctor and get a full health evaluation prior to long-distance training. Even if athletes appear healthy after treatment or surgery, or to have a disorder under control, underlying medical conditions could exist.

If you have an inspiring story you’d like to share, please contact us by emailing: