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Campus Wellness Committee raises heart health awareness

VSU’s Campus Wellness Committee held a Healthy Heart Luncheon on Tuesday, in awareness of Heart Month, to teach staff and students the risk factors of heart disease and precautions against it.

“Campus Wellness based this seminar off of its original program “Go Red for Women,” Rebecca Murphy, current committee chair, said. “We started as a group of faculty and students wanting to inform others about health and wellness.”

Senior Exercise Physiology major, Audrey Dowis, said she heard of the luncheon through working at the South Georgia Medical Center.

“I saw flyers and decided to come,” Dowis said. “I got a healthy lunch and learned the importance of listening to what your body tells you.”

Guest speaker, Judy Ellis, who works in the Cardiac Rehab Center of South Georgia Medical Center, educated the attendees while they ate a healthy three course meal.

“It’s important for people to know how to take care of themselves and to exercise,” Nurse Judy Ellis said. “We need to eat a well balanced meal, and remember to eat foods in low fat and cholesterol.”

Ellis started out the presentation with a surprising statistic; heart disease is still the number one cause of death followed by cancer.

After a quick review of the parts and function of the heart, Ellis explained the main cause of heart disease, arthrosclerosis which is hardening of the artery.

Ellis explained the complexity of risk factors; ones that cannot be helped such as genetics, gender, and age, and others that could be helped such as lifestyle changes that could lower risks, like quitting smoking, getting exercise and stress management. She also recommended exercise a minimum of three days a week for 35 to 45 minutes of consecutive activity.

Having both high cholesterol and high blood pressure, Connie Vielmans, the senior secretary at the Adult Degree Completion Military Programs, said that she came so she could further her knowledge on the subject.

“I think exercise was the most important piece of information she gave,” Vielmans said.

In addition to this program, the committee has enacted is Weight Watchers on Campus, which meets at noon in the Dogwood Room in the University Center, for a monthly fee of $39.95 per month.

Campus Wellness is also teaming up with The Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness to host the Safe Spring Break Fair in April.

VSU Campus Wellness is open to both students and faculty and encourage participation in their events.

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