This is the time of year when students are counting down the lasts days of school, fidgety and distracted, as they make plans for the summer. Jim Winn's sports medicine class thought this would be the perfect time to help their peers get into shape for the summer break by organizing a "Jump Into Summer" health fair focusing on physical activity. With the help of their teacher, Ms. Gloria Coder, IHPC outreach specialist, Jaime Ruvalcaba, sports trainer for the non-profit A Mark of a Champion, and Dr. Jay Chism, nutritionist and cold laser therapist, the students organized and took charge of all the events held over two lunch periods.
Proudly wearing their black health pathways shirts, they set up an obstacle course and a blood pressure station where they recorded pre and post blood pressure, pulse, and 02 saturation levels of the participants. A nutrition station was set up with the help of Dr. Jay to teach students how to read nutrition labels on common foods. The tobacco education station warned against effects of tobacco use and gave out free popcorn.
As part of the health fair, pre-med students who are part of UCR's Mini Medical School, gave workshops on Autism, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. To promote positive mental health, students participated in a Self-Love Pledge banner where they chose or wrote positive affirmations and sealed them with a thumb prints in the shape of a heart. Some of the things they students wrote included, "I will love myself," "I will exercise three times a week," "I will be more kind to my haters," and "I will help others find their inner beauty." Reach Out also set up a table staffed by LIFE student, Katie Garcia, who recruited for the upcoming summer LIFE program, while students nearby measured Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements. For those with more energy to burn, they could join in the jump roping and hula hoop contests while their friends cheered them on. With all the activity, a hydration station was in order with plenty of Gatorade and snacks to go around.
These summer enthusiasts (all 400 hundred of them!) had great time and proved that getting in shape can be fun! We wish all the students a safe and healthy summer!