Contributed by Brandon Gray, Class of 2019
Cardiovascular health is an extremely important component of leading a long, enjoyable life. Unfortunately, West Virginia has been inadequate in this category for several years. For example, West Virginia is the third highest state in the country in terms of “Fair and Poor Health Status”, “Physical Inactivity”, and “Obesity” (1). Individuals who do not take care of his/her cardiovascular health can develop cardiovascular disease, which is commonly known as heart disease. When looking at gender, it was shown that heart disease was the cause of death in 22.8% of males and 22.2% of females in 2011(2). However, this can easily be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle, and managing cardiovascular health risks consistently and effectively. Conditions that can lead to heart disease include: atherosclerosis (plaque build-up on the artery walls), heart failure (when the heart is unable to efficiently pump blood to the entire body), and narrowing of the heart valves causing blood flow to be restricted. Keeping a healthy heart will increase one’s life expectancy as well as increase their quality of life.
The UCSOP Student Chapter of The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) held a cycling event to educate the public about the importance of cardiovascular health. Cycling has been shown to bring countless benefits to an individuals heart health, as well as overall health including: strengthening the heart muscles, strengthening bones and muscles, lowering the resting pulse, reducing blood fat levels, reducing body weight, decreasing blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol (HDL), decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL), reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, etc (3). This event was a great opportunity to show the community how critical it is to have a healthy heart, and what benefits come with cardiovascular health. The cycling event had a wonderful turn out. Several members of the University of Charleston campus and Charleston community attended the event to spread awareness of heart disease and the several life-threatening problems that are associated with it. Every individual that came out and expressed their support and concern, will now be able to educate others about heart disease and how/why it is a growing tragedy in West Virginia. The goal of this event was to educate others on how heart disease can be improved and/or prevented with fun physical activities such as cycling.
- Fast Facts. (2016). wv.gov. Retrieved 17 October 2016, from http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/hpcd/data_reports/Pages/Fast-Facts.aspx
- Frequently Requested Statistics. (2016). org. Retrieved 17 October 2016, from http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/hsc/Statserv/Stat_Triv.asp
- Health Benefits of Cycling | Organic Facts. (2013). Organic Facts. Retrieved 17 October 2016, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-cycling.html
- Myers, J. (2003). Exercise and Cardiovascular Health. Circulation, 107(1), e2-e5. Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2