BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The event that aims to improve brain and heart health with physical activity returned to California State University, Bakersfield on Saturday.

The American Heart Association hosted the Kern County Heart and Stroke Walk on Saturday, Oct. 14 at California State University of Bakersfield’s campus. The family-friendly event kicked of at 8 a.m., with about 500 participants taking part in the event this year.

The event theme this year was, “I Walk to Save Lives”, to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and encourage exercise.

“As you age it becomes even more important, but as we’re seeing, younger and younger people are having cardiovascular problems and strokes,” said David Harrington, Chief Operating Officer at the Center for Nuero Skills. “So, the trends are changing and not in a favorable way.”

The American Heart Association set a fundraising goal of $350,000.