Texas Heart Institute, Accel Lifestyle and Memorial Park Conservancy for May Community-Wide Fitness Campaign

The Accel Texas Heart Challenge in Partnership with Memorial Park Conservancy Will Include a Host of Virtual and In-Person Fitness Sessions Alongside a Month-Long Social Media Portion


HOUSTON, TX – 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 four virtual sessions are as follows:

Tuesday, May 4 – Bar Method | Barre Class; 6 PM, Virtual

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 easy ways. 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.


Memorial Park Conservancy Director of Engagement Holli Clements, Accel Lifestyle Founder & CEO Megan Eddings, Texas Heart Institute Ambassador Scarlett Hankey_courtesy of Alex MontoyaA 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. To that end, 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,” Eddings elucidated.


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 Houston community.”

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.


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The Texas Heart Institute, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education, and improved patient care. THI’s scientists and physicians conduct fundamental biomedical, translational, and clinical research in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, molecular-based medicine, stem cell, and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine both independently and in collaboration with organizations worldwide. As global leaders of patient care for nearly six decades, Texas Heart Institute has been ranked among the top cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for the past 30 years. THI is dedicated to spreading awareness and sharing updates on ways to prevent, treat and defeat the cardiovascular disease. With over 10 million visitors coming to its website from around the world every year, www.texasheart.org is just one of the ways THI is helping to educate people on the importance of heart health. For more information, please visit https://www.texasheart.org.



Started by a creative chemist, Accel Lifestyle is the first ethical activewear brand for people who sweat and want to smell fresh. Combining proprietary science, fashionable fitness apparel for women and men, and an ethical supply chain, Accel Lifestyle is creating a movement for positive change. Accel Lifestyle’s mission is to empower people and inspire them to “Accel”erate their lives by promoting confidence, making healthy choices, and helping others. For more information, please visit https://www.accellifestyle.com.



Memorial Park’s sheer size (1,500 acres, nearly twice the size of Central Park) and central location – in the heart of Houston –  make it distinctive nationally. Further distinguishing Memorial Park is its cultural history as a former WWI training camp – Camp Logan – where 70,000 soldiers trained for battle. It is the only such camp remaining in the United States that has not been developed and is an archeologically protected site because of its role in WWI and the archeological features that remain. Memorial Park is where the sport of jogging was popularized nationally by Seymour Lieberman, the namesake for the Park’s locally popular and nationally-acclaimed jogging trail. Memorial Park Conservancy is a private, nonprofit organization that operates and maintains 1,100 of the Park’s 1,500 acres. The Conservancy’s mission is to restore, preserve and enhance Memorial Park for the enjoyment of all Houstonians, today and tomorrow. Founded in 2000, Memorial Park Conservancy aspires to implement principles of exceptional park management and stewardship in a successful public-private partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD). In 2015, Memorial Park Conservancy took over the day-to-day operations and maintenance of 1,100 of the 1,500 acres of Memorial Park. For more information, please visit https://www.memorialparkconservancy.org/.


Campaign Media Contact: C.J. Pappas / Jonathan Babin