Stress elimination a big hit at Healthy U

Information about stress has never been so relieving.

On Wednesday, March 28, the Ryder Center held the seventh annual Healthy U Wellness Fair. Dozens of booths representing the medical community of the Tri-Cities area arrived to help inform students about the benefits and simplicity of staying healthy in an unhealthy world.

Cynthia Bala, coordinator of the Wellness Fair and associate director of Human Resources, said she understands the importance of health information.

“What you don’t know can hurt you,” Bala said. “Education and prevention are key to living longer, healthier lives.”

Of the booths at the fair, free testing for glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and bone density were available.

A common issue tmany students overlook is stress and its effect on the body.

Several representatives at the fair commented on this growing problem, including Debbie Best, a nutritionist who helped run the cholesterol testing. She said finance issues contribute heavily to the undesired stress.

“One of the factors is stress from the economy, people losing jobs,” Best said. “Junk food is just cheaper.”

Lack of money may not be the only cause of unhealthy mental frustration.

Nicole Barens, biology senior, said there are multiple health benefits to visiting a chiropractor. She had her spine checked during the fair.

“It relieves unneeded stress,” Barens said. “My mother swears by her chiropractor.”

Cathy Devendorf, from the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, emphasized the importance of simply relaxing and having some fun.

“We want to encourage people to just go out and walk,” Devendorf said. “It reduces stress by enjoying nature.”

At the Nature Center, there are many relaxing activities, including a Wildflower Walkway and the Sugarhouse that lets visitors watch as they make their own maple syrup.

“The Nature Center is perfect for someone looking for a place that is free and open seven days a week,” Devendorf said.

Another way to relieve stress is through exercise and consistent movement.

Freshman Jason Ralya said he feels like this does not have to be mentally strenuous.

“Look at how our country is right now,” Ralya said. “Exercising should be fun.”

He said that students should go out and find something they enjoy. It does not have to be a sport or club, just something that gets the body moving.

However, freedom from stress was not the only point stressed at the fair.

Madison Goodroe, social work sophomore, represented the Sexual Assault Center of Saginaw. Goodroe provided statistics collected from the center.

For example, she said that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. She also commented on how her recent activity at the center has been a life changing experience.

“It opens your eyes to humanity in general,” Goodroe said. “It really blows your mind.”

A healthier body is also a less stressed body. Relieving some of that pressure with exercise and healthy food habits could be the best option.

“If the resources made available at the Wellness Fair prevents a student from having a catastrophic medical episode … that is the best we can hope for,” Bala said.

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