Today: May 29, 2024

Healthy Aging Fair offers advice for mind, body and soul

Jamila Young – Staff Writer

The Women’s Center held their first Healthy Aging Fair last Wednesday in Engleman Hall which aimed to educate the Southern population who attended about basic health information and about the differences between mental, physical and financial health.

“The goal is to get students, faculty and staff to start thinking about their health early on,” said Cyrena Duncan, a grad intern for the Wellness Center, who put the event together.

Duncan majored in Women’s Studies with a concentration in Gerontology, which studies the biological, psychological and social aspects of a person’s aging.

“I want to make people aware of older women’s issues, and I brought the event to the campus to show the importance to students,” said Duncan.

And while the fair was not entirely geared towards women’s health that is the primary focus for her work.

“I would like to work for the Department of Elderly Services and then run a [center] for women 50 years and older—for women’s issues because they matter.”

The fair had a variety of booths set up to highlight particular health-related topics.

Chi Anako, a grad intern for the Multicultural Center, had a booth which provided information about how health has an influence on culture.

“Health is more than just religion and diversity; different cultures affect your health,” said Anako.

“It goes much deeper than just healthy eating,” said Anako.

“Your socioeconomic factor affects your health as well. Limited resources can prevent you from buying healthy foods and receiving the best medical care.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, an organization that works to give people the information and tools they need to protect their health, the leading causes of death for African Americans is heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and the leading causes of death in elderly people age 65 and older are heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease.

The site also states that 20.7 percent of African Americans under the age of 65 are living without health insurance coverage, and 1.3 million are receiving nursing care home in America.

With the CDC’s staggering statistics, education to prevent such prevalent diseases is vital, with public information sessions, lectures and fairs, such as the Healthy Aging Fair acting as a proactive way to spread a healthy word.

Julian Myers-Antiaye, a senior communication major at Southern, explained how he tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“With being on the SCSU men’s soccer team, and playing competitive soccer, eating healthy has become a habit for me,” said Antiaye. “I also go to the gym aside from playing soccer.”

The mental health aspect of a student’s life is also surrounded by the stresses of class, work and extracurriculars. While time management is key, it is also important to eat healthy to keep away stress.

“Around my sophomore year, my classes were so bombarded. I had soccer, and I was also trying to work. I stopped working and dropped one of my classes, and that made my schedule more manageable for me…”

For students who are worried about putting on weight during the semester, it is important to remember that healthy food options exist.

“If I go to Conn Hall, I go to the salad bar, and stay away from the fried foods,” Antiaye said.

“I try to get an adequate amount of sleep every night, drink lots of water, and have a balanced diet.”

The most effective way to stay healthy, for some, is through sheer peace of mind.

Deb Sodergren, a Reiki Master Teacher since 1988 and Certified Meditation Instructor, who also advertises in the Natural Awakenings Magazine, had her own table at the fair to promote some different ways for people to exercise the mind

She shared with students the difference between Reiki and meditation.

“Reiki is a form of energy work; it works with the energy fields in the body,” said Sodergren.

“Meditation helps to go within, and is used to calm you down and get in touch with yourself.”

Sodergren wants to bring her services to Southern’s Stress Free Zone Day in October.

Between food choices and clearing your mind, there are many daily choices driven by daily factors that can affect mental wellness; the health of mind, body and soul are dependant on good choices in order to live a longer, happier life.

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