Thursday, April 17, 2014

LaHaye hosts Health Fair

The LaHaye Student Union partnered with the Masters of Public Health program and the Nursing Department to host Liberty University’s first health fair at the LaHaye basketball courts Sept. 23 from 12 – 6 p.m.

exercise — The basketball courts were filled with booths that focused on well being. Photo credit: Abby Kourkounakis

Exercise — The basketball courts were filled with booths that focused on well being. Photo credit: Abby Kourkounakis

The health fair consisted of 18 booths from various Liberty departments, such as Intramural Sports and Student Activities, and community businesses, such as Blackwater Bike Shop.

It also featured information about physical health, mental health and general well being, according to Associate Director of the LaHaye Student Union Jamie Swyers.

“Health fairs are a great way to make students, faculty and staff aware of the resources that are available to … bridge the gap between a variety of health promoting avenues on campus and in the local community so they can be better utilized,” Swyers said.

According to Swyers, this was the goal of the event. It was her hope that students would not only become informed of how their health affects their lives, but also see that there are opportunities available to them that will help encourage a healthy lifestyle.

“A healthy lifestyle bleeds into every other area of your life: mentally, spiritually, emotionally… if your physical aspect is unbalanced then other areas will become unbalanced as well,” Swyers said.

According to its website, the LaHaye Student Union offers personal trainers, group classes and a recreation and fitness center for students.

“How you train now will affect how you train later in life … even when it comes to eating healthy, it is important to start now,” personal trainer James Marcouillier said. “Everything you do now will affect you later. So learn now, while you are young. Be proactive with your health.”

While browsing the booths, students were given free items and encouraged to participate in challenges that tested their knowledge of a particular aspect of health.

Registered dietitians greeted students at the Sodexo booth, where students were instructed to match sodas with the correct amount of sugar content. Through this exercise, students not only learned how much sugar was in their favorite drinks, but also how much sugar is necessary in their daily diet.

“The average amount of sugar that is recommended for anyone per day is 15-20 grams,” senior Emily Rodeback, registered dietitian assistant said. “Students must be aware of the things they drink, because the food they are eating also has sugar … Sugar affects sleep patterns, your ability to be attentive in class, and it will affect you later on.”

There were also booths that focused on mental health. At one booth, volunteers measured students’ stress levels and gave easy tips on how to lower stress in daily life.

Another booth, put on by the Nursing Department, was geared toward disaster preparedness. Here, nursing students passed out information regarding what to do in natural, violent and out of the ordinary situations.

“Although not everything is specific to Virginia, these students are from all over, so it can apply to them,” nursing student and senior Alyssa Klingensmith said.
According to senior Jamie Perry, who attended the event, students benefitted from the information they received at this fair.

“When you come here, you are able to hear about all the different opportunities available and receive knowledge of what you need to know now in order to prepare for your future,” Perry said.

“I learned a lot of simple tips that I didn’t know before that can help prevent me from sickness and promote healthy habits,” senior Heather Seaborn said.

For more information regarding personal training, group classes or available activities for students, visit LaHaye Student Union at liberty.edu/campusrec/studentunion.

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