Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but students can create healthy habits now to prevent the problem.

February is American Heart Month. With numerous resources here on campus, students of all ages can do their part in preventing this fatal disease.

There are many risk factors to consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 percent of Americans are considered at high risk of obtaining heart disease.

College is a time where many find independence for the first time — which means independence to choose their diet, exercise and other important life choices. Often, these choices aren’t the healthiest.

But instead of only being reactionary to heart disease when it arises, college students can be preventative and create healthy habits now.

Here on campus, the Maverick Activities Center offers group exercise classes and a fully-equipped gym. Through this facility, an increase in physical activity could be the first step in preventing high blood pressure, cholesterol and more.

With college students balancing school, work, and their home lives, stress can be inevitable, which is another cause of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, stress often leads to excessive eating, drinking and smoking.

Prevention of this could include medication or speaking to a therapist and finding a balance for one’s mentality. UTA’s Counseling and Psychological Services offers therapy sessions, the first six free of charge. Therapy can help balance those stress related issues.

Combating heart disease means making efforts to overcome the mental and physical challenges we face. UTA offers numerous solutions, but even going for a jog or a bike ride can lower a person’s risk.

Beyond preventing the disease, these activities can improve a person’s quality of life.

As students, we have the resources and stamina to prevent this disease. Why not take advantage of that?

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Jacob Reyes; Editor-in-Chief Reese Oxner; associate news editor Amanda Padilla; Carmina Tiscareño, life and entertainment editor; social media editor Narda Pérez; Shay Cohen, copy editor and multimedia journalist; and Zaria Turner, life and entertainment reporter.

@UTAShorthorn

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