Reporting and comments: Mary Gallagher
Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee is partnering with the American Heart Association (AHA) and Go Red for Women (GRFW) to encourage guests and team members to collectively walk 100 million steps while at this favorite attraction for a “Million Steps in March.” Running from March 1 – 31 with the goal of providing inspirational, unique ways to improve heart health, such as walking through a cave. The usual Ruby Falls guest walks an average of 2,500 steps as they tour the cave and climb Lookout Mountain Tower.
From my personal experience, a long time ago, anyone walking even a short distance at Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain deserves double credit for their steps. At the time of my visit I had undergone eye surgery and suffered reduced vision. Add that to my generally claustrophobic nature especially underground, plus an odd gait, made this trek quite the challenge. Luckily fear of heights is not a problem I’ve ever had. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a sweater as caves tend to be cold and damp.
“We are grateful to Ruby Falls for helping create a fun way for the community to stay active,” said Emily Daily-Fuller, vice president and executive director of AHA. “The Million Steps in March initiative’s goal is to help engage Chattanoogans and out-of-town visitors in AHA’s mission of building healthier lives, free of heart disease. We hope that encouraging everyone to participate in physical activity will help combat our nation’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.”
I think it’s important for corporations, communities, and organizations to all think of creative ways to encourage everyone towards a more active and healthy lifestyle. On vacation or an outing to places like Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain is the perfect venue. As well as using the stairs and parking at the back of the lot.
Guests can take a #HealthySelfie while visiting to show their participation towards the 100 million steps goal, as well as sign the banner on display during March. The event includes special edition souvenir recipe cards for guests (while supplies last) and weekly on-site contests with giveaways such as heart-healthy recipe books from AHA.
Anyone that makes this 2,500 step walk should be getting a giant gold medal on a fat ribbon to hang around their neck. You earned it! Meanwhile, signing the banner and taking selfies will be fun.
Ruby Falls President Hugh Morrow said, “It is a great honor to partner with AHA/GRFW to provide an activity that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and to share the lifestyle steps we can all take to have a healthier heart. To reach the ambitious goal of walking 100 million steps, we are encouraging families and friends to lace up their shoes and get active together at Ruby Falls.”
Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. GRFW advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and CVS, with additional support from their cause supporters. For more information, visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 423-763-4400.
Ruby Falls is home to America’s tallest underground waterfall and deepest cave accessible to the public. It features a 145-foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. See www.rubyfalls.com for more information.
Chattanooga is a great city to visit. It’s even fun to say “I’ve been to Chat -a-nooo-ga”.