The American Heart Association will hold its annual Heart Walk on March 21 at Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville.

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s premier fundraiser each year, and the event at Fontainebleau always is well-attended; 3,000 people are expected this year. As has been the case in recent years, Lakeview Regional Medical Center is the signature sponsor of the walk, and plans to have 20 teams participating. LRMC CEO Bret Kolman is chairman of the 2015 event locally.

The public is invited to join an LRMC team, to form a team of their own or to walk solo in support of the cause. All will walk on a 5-kilometer loop and can join in or drop out whenever they like.

The local Heart Walk will begin at 9 a.m. and the gathering will continue until noon. Participants will travel on the shaded roads of the picturesque park, which sits just south of U.S. 190 east of Mandeville. Supporters will be on hand to encourage participation and partnership.

Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States, and stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death. The goal of the 350 Heart Walks in the country each year is to raise funds and celebrate progress in the fight against the disease.

Everyone is encouraged to join with friends, family, co-workers, heart disease survivors and others to participate. There will be healthy snacks, live entertainment, a “KidZone” and more to occupy everyone after the walk.

To register, go online to http://www.northshoreheartwalk.kintera.org">northshoreheartwalk.kintera.org. You can show up at Fontainebleau State Park on the day of the walk to sign up. The goal is to raise $325,000 at this walk, but any donation amount is welcome (though not necessary to come out and support the effort).

For information, call the AHA locally at (504) 830-2300 or send email to gnoheartwalk@heart.org.

WALKING PATH: Speaking of heart health, the walking path at Lakeview Regional Medical Center south of Covington was recently selected as the north shore’s first American Heart Association officially designated walking path.

The path, built in 2009, is 3?10 of a mile long and available for use by everyone in the community. LRMC is at 95 Judge Tanner Blvd., just east of U.S. 190 and just south of Interstate 12.

The AHA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as walking) daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.