Classes in Lynnwood provide health tips

It sounds so simple, but many people struggle to do it: get fit, lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Joe Piscatella, who got the message following his own bypass surgery, will be leading a class beginning April 15 to help people reach their health goals.

Piscatella is the author of four books, including “The Road to a Healthy Heart Runs Through the Kitchen.”

This is the third year for the six-week course, “Six Weeks to a Healthier You.” Some 800 people have participated.

The upcoming classes will be held Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. SW.

“We meet six consecutive Tuesday evenings to discuss topics including nutrition, exercise, stress management, kids and families and healthy living,” said Jennifer Piplic, a spokeswoman for the Verdant Health Commission, which is sponsoring the class.

“Sometimes people know they have high cholesterol, but they don’t always know what tangible things they can do to improve it,” she said. Piscatella suggests ways people can make small changes in their life that they can stick with, Piplic said.

Forty-two past participants, surveyed eight months after they took the class, reported an increase in the time they exercised each week and an 11-point drop in average cholesterol, Piplic said. Twenty-nine people lost five or more pounds.

Registration closes on March 30 to allow people time for tests of cholesterol, blood pressure and height and weight at Swedish/Edmonds. “That’s done in advance so when people arrive on April 15, they have the results of their screenings,” Piplic said. There is no extra charge for the tests.

The class includes cooking demonstrations and tips from Piscatella on healthy eating and ways to fit regular exercise into busy schedules.

“Joe is one of the reasons this program has been so popular,” Piplic said. “His approach is very guilt-free. He’s not pointing a finger at you to tell you what you’ve done wrong but giving you tools to let you know what you can do better from here out.”

Teens 16 and up can participate if a parent joins them in the class. Free, on-site child care is available for kids 1 through 12.

Although the class is sponsored by a Lynnwood-based nonprofit, there are no geographical restrictions on who can attend, Piplic said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Health classes

A six-week course to help people become more fit, lower cholesterol and lose weight is scheduled at the Lynnwood Convention Center beginning April 15. It is sponsored by the nonprofit Verdant Health Commission. The cost is $49 per person. Scholarships are available. Register at through March 30.

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