On Tuesday, Oct. 19 the Office of Campus Recreation held the 35th Healthfest at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center (ARC). The event was held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with exhibits from on and off campus organizations presenting health and wellness lifestyle information. This event held over 20 exhibits that offered a variety of information on healthy lifestyles tips.
Exhibits includes: American Cancer Society, Aramark, Arbonne, Boost Peer Mentors, Butler Lions Club, Center for Community Resources, CORE, Doctorate of Physical Therapy Students, Exercise Science Students, Fitness and Wellness Club, Giant Eagle Pharmacy, Graduate Admissions, HOPE Peer Educators, Keystone Wellness Programs, NovaCare Rehabilitation, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Physical Activity & Fitness Management Students, Physician’s Assistant Students, Pivot Physical Therapy, Public Health Students, Rock Powerlifting Club, Student Counseling Center, Student Health Services, Tri-Rivers Musculoskeletal and Wise Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine.
Ryan Stack, assistant director of fitness and wellness, and coordinator of Healthfest spoke on the mission of the event.
“This is basically just an event where student groups, professors and some of the academic departments will send students down and some outside groups come in to basically present a variety of different information about healthy lifestyles and healthy choices,” Stack said.
Stack said that the Healthfest has always been a community event but recently there has been a greater focus on the student experience. The event is organized to keep specific student organizations and classes in the same general area to present a flow of information.
Aramark provided students with healthy snack samples and nutritional guidance. They provide various health and wellness icons they have been teaching students. Registered Dietitian with Rock Dining, Nicole Dann-Payne, spoke to students about the health and wellness icons and indicators to help students understand their dining choices on campus.
“We actually have a health and wellness campaign,” Dann-Payne said. “Aramark teamed up with the American Heart Association called ‘Feed Your Potential.’ The campaign is meant to send the message out as far as resources that are available for example a monthly newsletter. This provides nutrition and wellness information along with recipes and cooking tips.”
Students can use the health and wellness icons and indicators labeled on the menus at various Rock Dining facilities. The Aramark exhibit took time to teach students at the Healthfest what each icon means, where to look for it and how it can be beneficial to balance a healthy lifestyle.
Along with learning about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the exercise science students offered health screenings including body composition, blood pressure and BMI to participants. This was a way for participants to be aware of their current health.
Giant Eagle also provided the flu vaccine to faculty and staff, and the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty and staff. The SRU Student Health Services provided students with the flu vaccine.
The Physical and Health Education department provided exhibits on nutrition, mental health and mental toughness. The students running the mental health exhibit were current or previous athletes. The mission of this exhibit was to communicate to athletes that there are healthy ways to cope with anxiety. Sophomore Jailynn Gilbert informed students on mental health of athletes and resources to handle stress and anxiety.
“We really talk about performance anxiety, the types of anxiety and the different disorders that athletes can develop from anxiety,” Gilbert said. “Personally, I used to get performance anxiety all the time so I can actually relate to what I am talking about.”
The Healthfest is always seeking new participants each year to bring awareness to on campus clubs, off campus organizations and other local businesses.