LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — We are continuing to celebrate Heart Week on Good Day Virginia!

Every day this week we’re getting you ready for the American Heart Association Lynchburg Heart Walk this Saturday, April 15th! 

Centra Health CEO Amy Carrier joined WFXR’s Amanda Kenney from Lynchburg with her pup Josie! 

“Pets can really help us keep our spirits high,” said Carrier. “They help us to deal with issues like isolation, sometimes they add a little bit of comedic relief to our lives that can be critical to elevating mood. Pets have so many wonderful calming effects that can include reducing blood pressure and lowering stress.”

Pets can also change the workplace. The American Heart Association encourages employers to embrace pet-friendly policies such as allowing pets in the office once a week.

“Research has shown that the presence of a pet or a therapy animal can help a person control daily anxiety. It can help to regulate emotions, and improve mood,” said Carrier.

To celebrate our pets, Centra is sponsoring the Pooch Parade this year at the Lynchburg Heart Walk!

“We’ll have blue ribbons that will be awarded to best dressed, best personality, and best-in-show. The Pooch Parade will also feature some local therapy pets who really enjoy visiting our patients and caregivers at Centra,” said Carrier.

If you’re interested in walking or joining a team, WFXR has a team that you are welcome to join!

The walk is Saturday, April 15th at Riverfront Park in Lynchburg. It starts at 9:00 a.m. and the walk begins at 10:00 a.m.