February is American Heart Month, a time where people are encouraged to raise awareness and support for heart disease and overall heart-healthy living. On Friday, Feb. 7, Kean celebrates the National Wear Red Day, a day specifically focusing on women's heart health.
Ahead of Wear Red Day, it is important for the Kean community to be aware of what they can do to live a heart-healthy life and of their personal heart health.
While it is during this time that we take a special look at women's heart health and wellness, there are ways that anyone can feel secure in maintaining their heart's wellness and upkeep.
Director of Student Health Services Robin Mansfield said, "Heart Health may not be one of the top concerns for the average college-aged student. However, we know that today’s college student can be 18 or 81, and anywhere in between. And, although people often associate heart disease as a health risk for men, Wear Red Day brings awareness that women are also at risk. There are many things people can do to stay heart-healthy, but to start, I would suggest these four things:"
- Know your numbers. Visit your primary care provider for a physical to get your blood pressure checked, along with your cholesterol and other blood work. Elevated blood pressure and/or cholesterol do not, generally, have symptoms initially. They can be causing damage to your heart and blood vessels, along with other body systems, without you knowing. Also, be aware of your family's history of heart disease.
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking tobacco and marijuana and vaping, can contribute to heart disease. If you need help to quit smoking there are many resources, starting with the Center for Disease Control’s hot line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW .
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low fat dairy. Avoid excess salt and trans fats. To find out more about a healthy diet, visit myplate.gov.
- Exercise. We all sit way too much. Some say that sitting is the new smoking. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise most days. Exercise can be as simple as walking 10 minutes 3 times a day. Find an exercise you like (walking, running, dancing, swimming, etc.) and stick with it. Take advantage of the exercise facilities on campus and the intramural sports offered by the Recreation department
For more information on Wear Red Day, be sure to attend the event on Feb. 7. For more information on your own personal hearth health, feel free to contact Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880 or visit them in Downs Hall for a check up.