February: National Heart Awareness Month


What is the leading cause of death in the US??

Heart Disease.

Heart disease is affecting people younger and younger and people, on average, have a heart 7 years older than they should be.

Follow this link to find out your “heart age”.

Lucky for us heart disease is highly preventable/manageable!

About Heart Disease:

  • Caused by plaque building up in the arteries of the heart.
  • Plaques can build up and harden or rupture over time and will block blood flow to the heart.
  • Effects of plaque buildup:

○     Chest pain

○     Heart attack

○     Weakening of the heart

○     Arrhythmias (irregular heart beats)

○     Heart failure (your body can’t pump the amount of blood your body needs)

○     Eventually, all these may lead to an early death

h2Risk Factors:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Physical Inactivity
  • A Consistently Unhealthy Diet



Ways to keep your heart healthy:
Address the risk factors!

  • Regular exercise and a healthy diet will address many of the risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.

○     Go on a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the dog, lift some weights, do yoga.

○     Group exercise classes are FREE for UWEC students and a great way to stay fit!

(find the schedule and a description of the classes here)

  • “Unhealthy” food once in a while won’t cause heart disease, but make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and decrease your intake of sodium (it can contribute to high blood pressure).
  • Quit smoking. This may be easier said than done, but look for resources to help you…your heart and body will thank you! Student Health Service offers coaching and quit supplies (nicotine patches and gum) at no cost – contact Katie Wilson, Health Educator, at wilsonk@uwec.edu or by going to Schofield 26 for more information!


Heart Disease doesn’t affect you in one day. It is brought on by an accumulation of unhealthy habits. Although you may feel fine now, a couple years down the road you could suffer the effects of heart disease that had been building up.

Information from:



Meet a NEW Swat Member



Emily is from Neenah, WI and is a junior studying Psychology. Emily’s main projects with SWAT are the Student Wellness team and social media. Since she loves to experiment with healthy baking recipes like homemade granola bars, chickpea peanut butter cookies, black bean brownies… Emily likes to snack on those creations, most of which involve peanut butter. Her favorite way to exercise is running and if she were a crayon, she would be mountain meadow. An interesting fact about Emily is that she studied in Valladolid, Spain last spring semester and LOVED it!


What is SWAT? Student Wellness Advocacy Team. We are a group of students with two great supervisors who run programs, events, and advertising to promote and educate students and staff on campus about being healthy and safe.

How did you learn about the job opportunity? I received an email advertising the position while I was abroad and was very excited because I love learning and talking about wellness.

What made you want to be a part of the SWAT Team? I am a psychology major also studying pre-med, so I thought this position would be great experience for working with people and in health care in the future as I learn more about, and practice wellness, as well as gain leadership experience. While psychology addresses a lot of mental health, I also really enjoy running (physical health) and healthy cooking and baking, which are focused more on physical health, so I look forward to learning more, expanding my knowledge of other areas of health, and sharing my passion for wellness. In addition, I love UWEC so I thought this would be a great way to stay involved on campus and participate in making it the great place it is.

What does SWAT do? SWAT educates students and staff on campus about health-related topics, especially those pertinent to college life, whether it be through posters, tables at events and around campus, or programs and events that we run. SWAT also works in the Rest Nest in the library.

What are the hours like? Every week we have two office hours, an hour-long staff meeting, and we also staff the Rest Nest. The rest of our schedule varies week-to-week based on the programs scheduled and which of those we can help with.

What is the work environment like? My fellow team members are very welcoming and our wonderful supervisors are always encouraging, helpful, and open to new ideas. We work in a variety of settings from the office during our office hours, the rest nest, to the res halls or other places around campus. I love seeing what is going on around campus and getting to be involved in the different activities.

What is your favorite part about the SWAT team? My favorite part about SWAT is learning about new wellness ideas and getting to share what I learn with other students. I get to be involved in different areas on campus with a great team and as we share about the many different aspects of health.