Kinesiology Students at TAMUCC Give Tips on Heart Health - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Kinesiology Students at TAMUCC Give Tips on Heart Health

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February is Heart Health Month, and what better way to start the month than with some tips on how you could keep your heart healthy.

3News tagged along with a couple of kinesiology majors at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and a doctor who teaches there, and they offered some tips on how you can keep your heart healthy.

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and kinesiology students at TAMUCC say that if you want to stay safe from a heart attack, you have to have an active lifestyle.

"Some things that people can do, if they live a busy lifestyle and you're going to go to the grocery store, you can park farther away, and that could be some of your exercise," kinesiology major Cassidy McGrath said. "That doesn't have to be your full exercise for the day, but that's a start."

McGrath recommends that you include 30 minutes of daily exercise; basically anything that gets your heart rate up.

Even if you have perfect genetic history, the students said it is still important to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. In other words, have a diet low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.

"There's this diet called the DASH diet, and it really focuses on fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts," kinesiology major Tiffany Rachunek said. "You want to decrease your intake of your red meats and try fish, chicken; and you want to decrease sugars, sugary drinks and stuff like that."

Students at the Island University may have the upper hand when it comes to keeping a healthy heart. Over at the Dugan Wellness Center on the TAMUCC campus, kinesiology students have access to a body fat measuring machine called the Bod-Pod. Dr. Don Melrose, an associate professor at the university, said it is the gold standard when it comes to body mass and fat measurement.

"The Bod-Pod measures body fat through air displacement," Dr. Melrose said. "In the past, we used underwater weighing and we measured displacement, and we were able to calculate body fat. Now, we are actually doing the same thing but in a chamber of air."

Dr. Melrose said it is important to know what your body fat percentage is because it can help paint an overall picture of your heart health.

"When you see on the screen a number that can tell you better, how good or how bad you are, then you can motivate yourself to make that number look better next time," TAMUCC graduate student Marcello Alves said.

Either way, an active lifestyle is the only way toward a healthy future.