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10 women + 12 weeks = healthy results

On Monday, Feb. 28, 10 women began a journey to a more healthy and active life as they joined the American Heart Association's BetterU course, which takes place over the next 12 weeks.

Women from all over the Capital District will be learning how to shop for and cook healthy meals, and will have a 12-week free membership to Gold's Gym. More than 70 applied to be a part of the program.

On Monday, the women had their blood pressure checked and recorded a video answering questions about why they wanted to be a part of the program and who they were doing it for.

American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Director Tina Hansen created the course two years ago in Omaha, Neb., where she said she saw it make a huge difference in women's lives.

I'm really passionate about the work of the American Heart Association, and I feel like this is a real opportunity for the American Heart Association to institute real change in the Capital Region, she said. "We have a lot of education out there, but I really see this opportunity and this challenge as an actual way impact lives noticeably so. So the changes are not just talked about, they are acted upon."

This is what a lot of the women who are participating in this challenge are looking for " a way to ditch their old bad habits and start living a healthier life.

Renee Vickery, 48, of Glenmont was diagnosed with endometrial endino carcinoma last February. She endured, chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation treatment and surgery. After spending most of 2010 dealing with cancer, she said 2011 needed to bring a change.

"It's 2011," she said. "I'm healthy. I want to start a new life. And I want to change my lifestyle. After going through something like that, I want to live. I don't want to be sitting on my couch watching TV. I want to be a part of life. I want to go out and be active."

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