New Ulm wellness project already shows healthy results

[Star Tribune, January 01, 0001] Pat Booker says she never could have imagined herself belly-dancing.

Nonetheless, the 58-year-old Minnesota Department of Corrections supervisor gave it a whirl -- along with Zumba, kettlebells, yoga, Pilates and the occasional 5K run -- as she adopted a new fitness regimen over the last few years.

Booker's new exercise routine reflects a wider transformation taking place in New Ulm. Allina Health, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and New Ulm Medical Center embarked five years ago on an ambitious experiment to improve an entire community's cardiovascular health by changing residents' diet and exercise habits.

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