‘FitFest’ seminars promote good health

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 22, 2003

Area health and fitness organizations are joining forces to promote healthier living for our community in a day-long program called &uot;FitFest,&uot; to be held March 5 from 7:15 to 12 a.m.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System of Butler County, Butler County Health Department, Greenville YMCA and L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital are sponsoring the event, which is designed to promote awareness of the effects of not staying fit.

County Extension Coordinator Linda Luman said this is an excellent opportunity for Greenville residents to get valuable information about some primary health concerns and great tips for staying fit – all free of charge.

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&uot;We will be bringing in fitness and health experts for a series of programs on topics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and proper diet,&uot; Luman said. &uot;Featured speakers include Dr. Ali Nami, MD Internal Medicine, Paul Hayes, Registered Dietician with the Alabama Department of Public Health and Greg Hartley, YMCA Fitness Director.&uot;

Other valuable programs being offered are blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, aerobics classes and a heel test for bone density.

&uot;These programs are so important because we have a crisis in health in our country,&uot; Luman said.

One in three American adults is obese, which mean they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight for their height, age, sex and build. One is five American children is obese. According to a recent Yale University study, one in four of these obese children have early signs of Type 2 diabetes.

&uot;This is the first time these symptoms have been seen in children,&uot; Luman said. &uot;Usually Type 2 Diabetes is an adult-onset disease. But more and more children are showing signs of developing it. Six and a half percent of Alabama residents have some type of diabetes.&uot;

It is not necessary to register for FitFest. Luman encourages everyone to just show up and participate.

&uot;Surveys taken in all states by the Center for Disease Control show that about 25 percent of adults don’t participate in any physical activity during their leisure time,&uot; Luman said. &uot;Only about 50 percent of American young people, ages 12-21, regularly participate in any type of vigorous physical activity. A quarter of those report no vigorous physical activity at all.&uot;

For more information and program times for FitFest, call the Greenville YMCA at 382-0550.