USC to help get hearts pumping at Expo | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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USC to help get hearts pumping at Expo

University of the Sunshine Coast academics will share the latest research on the best exercise and foods for a healthy heart at the Sunshine Coast Heart Week Expo on Saturday 30 April.

Organised by Sunshine Coast Council, the Expo will run from 8am to noon at the Lake Kawana Community Centre and kick off a week-long program of free events and activities across the region.

Muesli, green smoothies and tuna patties will be on the menu as the University offers free samples and advice about a heart healthy diet as part of its Nutrition and Dietetics exhibit.

USC Community Public Health Nutrition Placement Coordinator Caroline Martin said the display would promote an eating pattern consistent with a Mediterranean diet.

“We will also hand out recipe cards and handy pocket guides for attendees to keep so they can judge the healthier choice when comparing foods in the supermarket,” Ms Martin said.

Expo visitors can have the elasticity of their arteries checked by the University’s VasoActive research group and find out why this is an important predictor of the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

The research group also will check blood pressure and measure leg circulation as part of free health checks across the morning at USC’s Sport and Exercise Science exhibit.

Two USC academics will join a panel of health experts for specialist Q and A presentations being held as part of the Expo.

At 9.30am, Head of the VasoActive research group Associate Professor Chris Askew will present some of the group’s current research on the role of exercise and physical activity in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular conditions.

“There is very strong scientific evidence that exercise has a direct impact on the health and function of blood vessels, and this can protect against various conditions from high blood pressure through to heart disease,” he said.

Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics Dr Hattie Wright will follow with a presentation on the medicinal properties of certain nutrients and compounds relating to heart health found in everyday food.

“I will also cover which diet is the best to follow for heart health, and what to look for when reading food labels so people can make the best choice for their heart,” she said.

— Clare McKay

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