A healthy start to Healthy Heart Month

By Amanda Hari

January 28, 2014 Updated Jan 28, 2014 at 7:06 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Dozens walked out of the Oakdale Mall with bags filled to the brim Saturday. But surprisingly, not with clothes. Instead, they were filled with wholesome foods to help promote a healthy heart.

Weis Markets kicked off its fifth annual Healthy Heart Day in center court.

They raffled off grocery bags full of healthy food, clothing, water bottles and utensils.

February is Healthy Heart Month.

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women. Organizers said events like Healthy Heart Day allow the whole family to get in on the action.

"It's exciting to see a number of familiar faces that do join us here every year, but again to also see younger children," said Beth Stark, a Registered Dietitian with Weis Markets. "It is really important to start being heart smart and to raise your family in a heart healthy way from the start.”

Stark said the event and the activities help to spread the message of the importance of heart health.

"Prevention really is key when it comes to heart disease," Stark said. "First knowing what your risk factors are and being able to take control of those risk factors with exercise, a healthy diet and lowering your stress level."

Shoppers were also able to receive a blood pressure screening, a flu shot and even participate in heart healthy activities like Zumba.

The event was sponsored by WBNG, the American Heart Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, UHS, and the Broome County Health Department. All proceeds from the raffle went to the American Heart Association.

If you want more Healthy Heart tips from Weis tune into Action News at 6 pm on January 27 and throughout the month of February.