On Tuesday, October 19, the Campus Recreation Office held the 35e Healthfest at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center (ARC). The event took place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with exhibits from on and off campus organizations presenting information on lifestyles in health and wellness. This event hosted over 20 exhibitions that offered a variety of information on healthy lifestyle tips.
Exhibits include: 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 and Fitness Management Students, Physician Assistant Students, Pivot Physiotherapy, Public Health Students, Rock Powerlifting Club, Student Counseling Center, Student Health Services, Tri-Rivers Musculoskeletal and Wise Sports Physiotherapy and Medicine.
Ryan Stack, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness and Healthfest Coordinator spoke about the mission of the event.
“This is basically an event where groups of students, professors and some university departments will send students and outside groups come to present a variety of different information on healthy lifestyles and healthy choices,” Stack said.
Stack said Healthfest has always been a community event, but recently the focus has been more on the student experience. The event is organized to keep student organizations and specific classes in the same general area in order to present a flow of information.
Aramark provided students with healthy snack samples and nutritional advice. They provide various health and wellness icons that they teach to students. Rock Dining Professional Dietitian Nicole Dann-Payne spoke to students about 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 has partnered with the American Heart Association under the name ‘Feed Your Potential’. The campaign is intended to send the message as far as resources are available, for example a monthly newsletter. This provides information on nutrition and wellness as well as recipes and cooking tips.
Students can use the health and wellness icons and indicators labeled on menus at various Rock Dining establishments. The Aramark exhibit took the time to teach Healthfest students what each icon means, where to look for it, and how it can be beneficial in balancing a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise science students provided participants with health exams that included body composition, blood pressure, and BMI. It was a way for the participants to be aware of their current state of health.
Giant Eagle also provided the flu vaccine to faculty and staff, and the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty and staff. SRU Student Health Services provided the students with the flu shot.
The Department of Physical Education and Health has organized exhibitions on nutrition, mental health and mental strength. The students who ran the mental health exhibit were current and former athletes. The mission of this exhibit was to communicate to athletes that there are healthy ways to deal with anxiety. Sophomore Jailynn Gilbert briefed students on athlete mental health and resources for dealing with stress and anxiety.
“We’re really talking about performance anxiety, the types of anxiety and the different disorders that athletes can develop from anxiety,” Gilbert said. “Personally, I used to have performance anxiety all the time so I could actually understand what I’m talking about.”
Healthfest is always on the lookout for new attendees each year to raise awareness with on-campus clubs, off-campus organizations and other local businesses.