February 27, 2014

Makeover program to promote women's heart health


---- — PLATTSBURGH — In coming weeks, a dozen local women will have the opportunity to reduce their risk of heart disease with a special kind of makeover.

The American Heart Association, along with NBT Bank and Eclipse Fitness and Spa, is seeking applicants for Plattsburgh’s Go Red BetterU Makeover Challenge, aimed at improving the heart health of participants.

“Although preventable, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S.,” Audra Burns, regional director of communications for the American Heart and American Stroke associations, told the Press-Republican in an email. 

“Go Red BetterU is a 12-week makeover that can save lives.”

The challenge kicks off Monday, March 17.


For each week of the program’s duration, participants will receive a membership to Eclipse Fitness and Spa, as well as three personal-training sessions with Michelle Mosher, a health professional and personal-health coach at the gym.

In addition, there will be weekly group meetings to provide support and health education to participants, as well as other educational opportunities throughout the program.

“For instance, they will be participating in a ‘field trip’ to the grocery store to discuss how to shop healthy,” Keri Mack, regional director of the American Heart and American Stroke associations, told the Press-Republican by email. “There will be information on reading labels and how shopping the perimeter of the store is healthiest.”


“BetterU provides guidance to transform overall health through small, simple choices,” Burns added.

The program, she noted, is not about fad diets or the latest exercise trends; instead it focuses on providing today’s busy women with skills and information to help them lead better lives.

“Fewer than half of American women maintain a healthy weight, keep a heart-healthy diet and get regular physical activity,” Burns said. 

“Furthermore, millions of women struggle to get motivated to begin a health regimen, feeling they are too tired or just don’t have time.

“Go Red BetterU gives women an opportunity to speak up for themselves and achieve a noticeably better state of well-being and heart health in just 12 weeks.”


Participants will reveal their transformations at a premiere party and fashion show at Cumberland 12 Cinemas in June.

“They will each receive a hair and makeup makeover, generously donated by Running with Scissors Salon, Sassy Images Salon and Ultimate Skin Solutions,” Mack said. 

“The event will be to educate the public on prevention of heart disease and stroke and to celebrate the women’s successes.”

Along with NBT and Eclipse Fitness, several other local businesses are sponsoring the challenge, including the Press-Republican, Nine Platt Hospitality Group, Cumberland 12 Cinemas, Dick’s Customizing and Collision, ETS Staffing Recruiting Training, Northern Insuring Agency, Swarovski, the Development Corp. and UFirst Federal Credit Union.

“The program is completely free of charge, thanks to our program sponsors,” Mack said.

Email Ashleigh


BetterU applications, which are due by Friday, March 7, can be downloaded at and are also available at four Plattsburgh locations: NBT Bank, 482 Route 3; Eclipse Fitness and Spa and the front desk of Comfort Inn, both at 411 Route 3; and Northern Insuring Agency, 171 Margaret St.


Kathleen Pingelski, who participated in an Albany-area BetterU Makeover Challenge, will speak about the program at the Plattsburgh Go Red for Women Dinner on Friday.

The event, set for 4 to 8 p.m. at Westside Ballroom in Plattsburgh, will feature additional talks related to heart health, as well as auctions and other activities. Hors d'oeuvres and a heart-healthy meal are included; tickets, $50 per person, are limited. To reserve a spot at the dinner or learn more about Plattsburgh's BetterU Makeover Challenge, contact Keri Mack at 335-8125 or