The Student Health and Wellness Center educates students on cardiac health throughout the month of February

Liberty’s Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives is celebrating love this month by focusing on the heart. 

Throughout February, the center is pushing students to be educated about their heart and to stay healthy while also fundraising for the American Heart Walk on April 18. This is in accordance with American Heart Month, which takes place every February. 

Dr. Keith Anderson, executive director of the Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives, said Liberty is not doing American Heart Month alone. 

“American Heart Month is in partnership with the American Heart Association, and it’s to promote awareness within our campus community on the importance of heart health,” he said. 

“Chances are, everyone on campus either knows someone who has had a heart condition, someone who has survived a heart attack, and particularly, our own president has overcome some heart health issues,” he said, referring to the surgery that President Jerry Falwell Jr. had in 2018 to close a hole in his heart. 

With all of the stress that comes with being a college student, thinking about heart health may not be high on a student’s priority list. However, Anderson explained why college students should be prioritizing heart health, even while they are young. 

“By finding those areas that (where) we can improve our health, (we can) improve the overall wellness,” he said. “If you can do those things now, as young college students and young adults, then the propensity to develop those into a healthy lifestyle later will increase.” 

Anderson encouraged students to begin with the basics of a healthy lifestyle and start prioritizing their health.

“Believe it or not, getting a proper amount of rest, which is probably one of the most difficult things for college students to do, is key,” he said. “And then, on quite the other side of getting rest, is being active.” 

Anderson recognized that not every Liberty student is an athlete. Yet, he still encouraged students to embrace the gift of movement. 

“All of us have the opportunity to be as healthy as we can, through mobility and exercise,” Anderson said. 

The third and final thing that Anderson exhorted students towards is eating healthy. 

“Proper nutrition is very important to physical wellness, and specifically, heart health,” he said. 

Liberty’s students have a wealth of resources to help them be healthy, not only this month but year-round. Anderson remarked on how important he believes those resources are. If students want specific recommendations on how to improve their personal health, he encouraged them to reach out to the center and check their website for an updated list of their events. 

“I would lend a recommendation that students would either visit recreation centers and ask for some help or utilize the health center to see one of the healthcare professionals, and they can make recommendations,” he said. “Before starting a new workout plan or a new regimen, I think it’s wise for our students to seek the advice and the wise counsel of someone who knows specifics.” 

Smith is a news reporter.

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