By now it’s no secret there’s a new art installation around town. There are 154 (5’x 5’) fiber-glass hearts, each designed and decorated by local artists, displayed throughout the Kansas City metro area. Kansas City’s Parade of Hearts will be exhibited until the end of May. As the weather warms up, this is a great opportunity to get your walking shoes on and combine exploring the new art installation with some heart-healthy physical activity!
Heart Disease #1 Cause of Death
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One in every 4 U.S. deaths is attributable to heart disease. That’s about 610,000 people—the population of Johnson County—every year. Your heart is the epicenter of your body. If your heart isn’t functioning, neither are the other vital organs. See what we’re saying here? Hearts matter!
Make Small Changes
Making just a few changes to keep your heart healthy can add not only years to your life but years that are more enjoyable, free from heart disease and other chronic conditions. Daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (like brisk walking), five times per week, can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Live well today to live better tomorrow!
Go Outside and Get Moving
We’ve combed through the list of the Parade of Hearts in Johnson County and found the ones located in parks and along trails so you can get your art and heart fix at the same time. Find your walking shoes, charge your phone (you’re going to want a selfie!), put on some sunscreen and get moving. We’ve included a couple of photos to get you started, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise! Where’s the fun in that? Enjoy exploring!
Covid Changed Our Landscape – Stagecoach Park/Olathe Community Center (Olathe, KS)
Find this heart in front of the Olathe Community Center in Stagecoach Park. Take a walk or run on the 0.97 mile loop around the park once you’ve snapped your selfie with the heart. Extra heart points if you climb to the top of the climbing structure at the playground.
Outside the KC Ice Center in Shawnee, this heart is a short walk or drive to one of the access points to the Millcreek Streamway Park Trail at Okun Fieldhouse on Johnson Drive. Head north on the trail and you can walk or ride your bike all the way to the Kansas River. Bonus heart points for a selfie with the heart at the ice rink and a photo of you and the Kansas River!
Jazzin’ KC Nights – Meadowbrook Park (Prairie Village, KS)
Finding this heart is an adventure for the whole family—all of you can get your physical activity minutes in for the day! Play a round of pickleball, rent a bike and take a cruise around the ponds, use the outdoor fitness equipment, or climb to the top of the Treeline Adventure playground! Have fun!
Kansas City Kaleidoscopes – Sar-Ko-Par Park (Lenexa, KS)
Take a walk on the trails throughout Sar-Ko-Par Park and around Rose’s Pond after you’ve found the heart. Make sure to snap a photo and check off the heart on your list. Extra heart points if you play on one of the two playgrounds located in the park!
Moving Forward – Weltner Park (Prairie Village, KS)
After you’ve found the heart in the park, take a few laps around the walking loop. Bonus heart points if you take a few turns on the slides at the playground. Have fun!
Proud to Be KC – Scheel’s Overland Park Soccer Complex/Tomahawk Creek Trail
Finding this heart inside the Scheel’s Soccer Complex may be an adventure if you go on a weekend, but once you’ve gotten your photo, hop on the Tomahawk Creek Trail. This trail winds throughout southern Overland Park to the east and into Olathe to the west. This trail is shaded and a calm and relaxing walk once you’ve survived the soccer complex on a Saturday!
Sweet KC – Quivira Park (Overland Park, KS)
Quivira Park is a large park located in Overland Park right on the Indian Creek Trail. Once you’ve snapped your photo of the heart, enjoy some time on the playground. No one says exercise has to be boring. Extra heart points if you bring along a soccer ball or football and enjoy the open green space!
Hopefully, we’ve made it easy for you to have some family fun, enjoy the Parade of Hearts, and get some physical activity. Remember, making just a few changes to keep your heart healthy can add not only years to your life but years that are more enjoyable and free from chronic ailments. Live well today to live better tomorrow!