Texas Heart Institute, Accel Lifestyle and Memorial Park Conservancy Unite for May Community-Wide Fitness Campaign
The Accel Texas Heart Challenge in Partnership with Memorial Park Conservancy Includes a Host of Virtual and In-Person Fitness Sessions with Month-Long Social Media Portion
This May, three civic-minded Houston institutions – the Texas Heart Institute, Accel Lifestyle and Memorial Park Conservancy – are aligning their respective resources in recognition of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month for a multi-faceted campaign that is designed to promote cardiovascular fitness and to emphasize the importance of keeping heart health top of mind.
Dubbed the Accel Texas Heart Challenge in Partnership with Memorial Park Conservancy, the campaign is built around four limited in-person fitness sessions to be held at Memorial Park as well as four virtual fitness sessions, all of which will be led by top Houston-area instructors.
Each of the eight sessions will be free and open to the public.
In-person sessions at Memorial Park, which will be limited in accordance with the City of Houston’s COVID-19 guidelines and are limited to 35 attendees each, are as follows:
Saturday, May 8 – AJ the Cardio Killer | Boot Camp; 10 AM, Picnic Loop
Saturday, May 15 – Angie and Carmen from Live.Breathe.Retreat | Yoga; 10 AM, Clay Family Eastern Glades
Class participants must bring their own yoga mat.
Thursday, May 20 – Fitmix Communities hosting a Zumba class | Cardio; 6:30 PM, Memorial Groves
Thursday, May 27 – Sphere | Cardio; 6:30 p.m., Picnic Loop
“The Conservancy is proud to be partnering with the Texas Heart Institute and Accel Lifestyle for National Physical
Fitness and Sports Awareness month,” said Shellye Arnold, President & CEO of Memorial Park Conservancy. She
added, “This physical health initiative is in keeping with Memorial Park’s longstanding history of providing
Houstonians and all Park users with a space in the great outdoors to make and break their fitness goals. Now, with
socially distant fitness classes hosted in the Park each week this month, Park users have even more of an
opportunity to stay active in nature.”
The virtual sessions are as follows:
Tuesday, May 11 – Nicole Hoffman of Quar Fitness | Pilates; 9 AM, Virtual
Tuesday, May 18 – Teresa Nguyen | HIIT Session; 5:30 PM, Virtual
Tuesday, May 25 – Jessica Ann | Yoga; 9 AM, Virtual
Virtual class registration will be made available via Accel Lifestyle’s Instagram page – @accellifestyle. Interested
parties are encouraged to follow Accel Lifestyle to receive updates on the virtual classes being held every Tuesday
of the month.
For those looking to become involved in the month’s festivities without attending a class, the Accel Texas Heart
Challenge also invites the entire community to participate on social media and be physically active in quick and
As part of this campaign element, individuals are tasked with capturing and sharing brief clips of
themselves on Instagram performing exercises or dance-related movements that somehow incorporate one or more
heart-healthy foods. Individuals uploading clips are welcome to tag their friends, co-workers, and family members
so that they can join in and help the challenge to grow across the Instagram platform during the month of May.
Lastly, the hashtag #acceltexasheart is encouraged for those who participate in the challenge when uploading their
respective clips to social media.
A major impetus for the collaboration came from Accel Lifestyle CEO Megan Eddings, who faced the difficult loss
of her own father from a heart attack when he was just 58 years old. Not only did the tragic passing of her father
catalyze her to create Accel Lifestyle – the first ethical activewear brand for people who sweat and want to smell
fresh – it informs how she runs the company in all aspects, as well as how she strives to be a champion for leading
a healthy lifestyle.
“Losing my father to a heart attack far too young is something I do not want others to have to experience. I have
not had the courage to openly talk about Dad’s passing until recently, as not having him here still brings tears to my
eyes. Having a healthy heart is directly related to the choices we make on a daily basis. Maintaining a healthy diet,
movement, peace, etc. are all imperative for cardiovascular health. I am honored to help lead this
collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute, Memorial Park Conservancy and local fitness instructors. If our Accel
Texas Heart mission spurs even one person to make healthy changes to their life, not only will their heart health
improve, but their loved ones will not have to go through what I and so many others have had to experience,”
For its part, The Texas Heart Institute, which recently launched its first-ever clinical cardiology practice – the Texas
Heart Medical Group – is eager to collaborate on the May fitness campaign as an aspect of its ongoing mission to
mitigate the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research,
education and improved patient care.
“Heart health is a critical component of an overall healthy lifestyle; one in every four deaths in the United States is
related to heart disease, and it is the leading cause of death for both men and women,” emphasized Dr. Briana
Costello, a general and interventional cardiologist at THI and a member of the Texas Heart Medical Group.
She added, “Aerobic exercise for at least 150+ minutes per week at moderate intensity or 75+ at high intensity has been
shown to improve cardiovascular health. It has been shown to decrease risk for future heart attack and stroke and
can also improve blood pressure. The Accel Texas Heart Challenge’s in-person and virtual classes throughout the
month of May represent great ways for individuals to achieve these weekly fitness benchmarks. I am personally
looking forward to participating in a number of the sessions and cannot wait to get moving with the rest of the
At the conclusion of the May campaign, Accel Lifestyle will generously donate 25% of its proceeds raised during the course of the month to the Texas Heart Institute.
Photo: Alex Montoya; Featured Photo: Memorial Park Conservancy