UI health showcase offers opportunity to get interactive

UI health showcase offers opportunity to get interactive

CHAMPAIGN – If you want to learn more about a healthy lifestyle – and get in some rock climbing – you'll want to visit the University of Illinois' Activities and Recreation Center next week.

The recreation center, known as ARC and located at 201 E. Peabody Drive, C., is hosting a Health and Wellness Showcase from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25. The event is free and open to the community.

The first-time event won't involve just picking up brochures from the 80 or so exhibitors. Participants can get a demonstration in rock climbing on ARC's climbing wall, then try it out for themselves. They can also learn about tai chi, Nordic walking or belly dancing, do some water exercise or cycling, or see a cooking demonstration in ARC's instructional kitchen.

"We wanted it to be interactive, so it's not your everyday health fair," said Jayne Deluce, an associate director at UI's Campus Recreation and one of the event's organizers.

The idea was to "have people engage in activity, so they don't just pick up a brochure, but actually talk to people and think about wellness," Deluce said.

The newly renovated ARC building offers the space and amenities for such an event, she said. The event will feature programs and services available throughout the community, not just on campus, though.

And while there will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get moving – anyone 18 years or older can try out the fitness equipment at ARC – the showcase will focus on more than just the physical.

"When people think of wellness, they usually think of the physical dimension or nutrition," Deluce said.

The showcase will be organized around six aspects of wellness – physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and occupational. It will include information about such things as work/life balance, the importance of social connections, financial well-being and safety in the home.

For example, exhibitors include the UI Extension's Companion Animal Program, the C-U Safe Routes to Schools Project, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Urbana Free Library, which will have a Nintendo Wii with the Wii Fitness game at the showcase, as well as many medical and recreational groups.

The showcase will also include children's activities, and representatives of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Orpheum Children's Science Museum will be there. The goal is to attract community members from children to retirees, Deluce said.

The event is organized by a number of UI departments, including Campus Recreation, the Family Resiliency Center, the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, WILL-TV-AM-FM and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.