Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter -
Last Wednesday, the SCSU Heart Health Fair called “The Heart Truth” was held in room 201 of the Michael J. Adanti Student Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The SCSU Health & Wellness Center, the Multicultural Center, the Women’s Center, Men’s Initiative, Human Resources, Chartwell’s and the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center jointly sponsored the event.
The event was held to celebrate American Heart Health Month and the Southern community was invited to stop by and learn more about the prevalence of the various cardiovascular diseases and ways to prevent these conditions.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease or cardiovascular disease is the term used for several conditions that are related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, and as the plaque builds up and the arteries narrow, this creates a greater risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
The Wellness Center was offering numerous screenings to those in attendance. These screenings included cholesterol, blood pressure, Body Mass Index and body composition. The American Heart Association recommends all people start getting cholesterol screenings at the age of 20, and for people to regularly get their blood pressure checked from an early age. High blood pressure can be hereditary and drinking alcohol, smoking and a poor diet with a high salt intake can exasperate it.
The Heart Health Fair offered a wide range of healthy snacks for those in attendance. The groups offered cucumber water for everyone to drink and the snacks consisted of a selection of fruits and vegetables. In addition, there was a yogurt bar with healthy options for people to put in their yogurt, including chopped fruits and granola.
Jessica Mayne, who was staffing the snack table and was informing those in
attendance about healthy recipes being offered on the table, said that portion control is something that everyone should take into account when eating, so the serving cups at the event were there to educate people on what is a healthy serving.
“We have these smaller cups,” Mayne said, “to show portion control, not just because these are samples.”
The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center had a table set up detailing the various effects that alcohol, smoking and drugs have on the human body, especially the heart. The American Heart Association states that consumption of copious amounts of alcohol can raise the level of fats in the blood.
In addition, too much alcohol can lead to a high calorie intake due to the “munchies,” as well as high blood pressure and heart failure. Binge drinking can cause a stroke, and in some cases cardiac arrhythmia, and even sudden cardiac death. The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center suggested that people drink less frequently because the more regularly someone drinks, the greater the tolerance.
Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States according to the American Heart Association. Smoking raises people’s blood pressure as well as increasing the blood to clot, leading to heart disease. The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center also had information on what dangerous influences drugs such as cocaine have on the heart. A game, pin the heart on cupid while wearing “beer goggles,” goggles designed to imitate the drunken perspective was also being presented at the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center table.
The SCSU Fitness Center was at the fair offering information on weight management and heart health. Allison Blacker from the Fitness Center said exercise is extremely important on the health of the heart.
“Exercise lowers your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular health issues,” Blacker said.
The Fitness Center is offering a hands-only CPR lesson on Thursday, Feb. 28th at 6:30 p.m. in the Farnham programming space, Blacker said.
“It will instruct students on hands only CPR,” she said. “And teach them that you can still perform life saving CPR without mouth to mouth contact.”