Love your heart

In celebration of American Heart Month, the University Health Center will be hosting events next week to raise awareness of heart disease.

From Feb. 22-26, students will be able to attend virtual and in-person Love Your Heart events. Aimee Grindstaff, marketing strategist at Nebraska Medicine, has been hosting the Love Your Heart event for years and said she hopes that students will be more interested this year, so they are able to continue to do the events for years to come. 

“When it comes to heart disease, most people think that it just comes later in life,” Grindstaff said. That is true, but your risk for it starts now as a young adult. We are trying to raise awareness of how your heart behavior now can affect you later in life.”

According to Grindstaff, this year is more focused on diverse students. People of color are at higher risk for heart disease, and she said she hopes these events will help people learn how to live healthier lives.

The events this year are in collaboration with a variety of organizations on campus, like Campus Recreation, Afrikan People’s Union, the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services and the Minority Pre-Health Association, according to Charlie Foster, assistant vice chancellor for Inclusive Student Excellence and director of OASIS. 

According to Grindstaff, the #BigRedHeartChallenge will be going on all week. Students can win a prize by posting on their Instagram and making TikToks using the #BigRedHeartChallenge and showing off ways they stay healthy. 

On Monday, Sheri Rowland, a University Health Center provider, will host the Know Your Numbers Webinar. From 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., Grindstaff said students can learn about how to build healthy habits as young adults to prevent heart disease. Students must register for the virtual event beforehand. 

“She is going to discuss how students of color are more high-risk for heart disease, and help them find ways to beat the statistics,” Grindstaff said. 

At the University Health Center on Tuesday from 8 to 11 a.m., students can receive a free breakfast and wellness profile. According to Grindstaff, a wellness profile consists of a blood draw that shows a student’s health and helps detect any problems such as high cholesterol and diabetes. 

The wellness profile is free of charge and an appointment is required by calling the University Health Center. 

On Wednesday, Campus Recreation will be hosting an in-person and virtual beginners yoga class at the Nebraska East Union from 6 to 7 p.m. 

“The purpose of the yoga event is to help students understand how stress plays a role in heart health,” Grindstaff said. “If you participate in regular activities that help you lower your stress levels, you’re more likely to live a more heart-healthy life.” 

Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. 

From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Kappa Delta Chi sorority will host a cook-a-long class on their Instagram page in collaboration with a registered dietitian, according to Foster. 

Foster said in an email that she is excited for all of the events and hopes everyone learns something. 

“I look forward to seeing students post on their social media,” Foster said in an email. “We are hopeful students will participate in all of these great events.”