By ROB W. ANDERSON
Northeastern State University played host to several health and exercise organizations and services Friday as part of its 2013 Healthy Campus Initiative.
The Health Fair and Fitness Expo held in the University Center Herb Rozell Ballroom provided an opportunity for students and patrons to learn how to improve their health.
The goal of NSU Student Health Services is to promote the physical, emotional and behavioral success of everyone on campus by providing quality and affordable health care options.
Student assistant Xuan Li was on hand during the Expo to provide free blood tests and information related to diabetes and high blood pressure.
“We help them with the free test and tell them the results,” he said. “They can come [to NSU Health Services] if they want to do more tests or get more information. Some of the lab tests are cheaper than going to a hospital.”
Representatives of The Vegetarian Society of Tulsa helped people understand why eating a meat-free and plant-based diet is important in deterring sickness.
Society member Jesse Honn said a source of protein can be obtained from many healthy food items.
“There’s been a lot of research for many decades that has shown that a plant-based lifestyle can reverse a lot diseases. We can’t make any medical claims, but it’s pretty obvious that fruits, vegetables and grains are healthy for you,” he said. “We just try to advocate, at the very least, to try to eat more of [healthy food items] and less of the other stuff.”
Honn said he and his wife, Jennifer, were meat eaters five years ago, but decided to make a change when family members began experiencing health-related issues connected to their diets. Jennifer said people can begin to improve their diets by removing meat from the menu at least one day a week.
“There’s a movement that’s gotten pretty popular called ‘meatless Mondays.’ It’s only one day a week. Just don’t eat meat on Mondays,” she said. “[By participating in the Vegetarian Society of Tulsa] you’ll learn plant-based recipes and it will start becoming easier.”
Society member Yadi Gonzalez said it took a couple of serious health-related events with two of her relatives before her family began to take a serious look at their diets.
“You’ve always heard that fruits and vegetables are healthy. It’s not just something that doctors or all these exercise trainers say; it’s really an effective way of living,” she said. “It really does help.”
Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Centers Business Operations Manager Crystal Steed said the NSU Health Fair and Fitness Expo is not only a chance for people to learn about their health, but an opportunity for people who work in the health care industry to talk about ongoing changes or related topics.
“We try to communicate with each other on what’s changing. There’s not a lot of time for health care [personnel] to get together and communicate,” she said. “We’re here to let everyone know what we’re about. We’re here to provide affordable, quality health care. We see anyone that has insurance or doesn’t have insurance. We see everybody. We’re a federally qualified health care center.”
Jamie Grosser, who is the marketing director for Northeastern Physical Rehabilitation of Tahlequah, was at the Expo to promote aquatic therapy.
“We have only one of eight SwimEx pools in the state. This is the same type of exercise station pool that OSU and OU have at their gyms for their students,” she said. “That’s something we like to get out because we’re the only facility in the area that offers aquatic therapy.”
Grosser said Northeastern Physical Rehab also has a full gym that is open to the public.
“There are no contracts. It’s $20 a month. A lot of our patients that finish therapy will continue to use the gym for post-therapy exercise,” she said.
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