BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - As millions of people throughout the country have become glued to their Ipads, Ipods, television and gaming systems, less exercise is taking place and the nation is becoming obese. In effort to alleviate this problem, the Summit Medical Group held their Third Annual Live Well Festival Sunday afternoon, September 30th. Summit Medical Group (SMG), headquartered in Berkeley Heights, is the largest privately held multispecialty medical practice in New Jersey.
Thousands of people attended the event and learned about being healthy and living properly. It took place at the Medical Group’s campus on Diamond Hill Road in Berkeley Heights and showcased London Olympic athletes including Tim Morehouse, U.S. Olympic and National fencing champion, David Zhuang, World Table Tennis Champion and Olympic competitor, and members of the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team.
There were also demonstrations and samples of healthy food from local chefs, activities and learning experiences for the entire family, including: archery, basketball, table tennis, soccer, rugby, a golf simulator, makota, an orbitron human gyroscope, a biking demo, rock climbing, fencing, rowing, a hay maze, hoopnotica and pumpkin and face painting. Additionally, there were numerous sports-health lectures given by New Jersey's top sports doctors throughout the afternoon.
“We started three years ago to get the community involved in getting more activity and living healthier,” said Maureen Bennett, Summit Medical Group's Media Relations Specialist.
Bennett said the turnout was great in the past and she expected the same on Sunday. There was something for everyone, she said. While most people think health is boring, Summit Medical Group wants to make it fun, she said.
She also stressed preventive health is the way of the future. Kids who play sports had the opportunity to attend presentations on how to avoid sports-related injuries.
“They learn a lot of new things,” she said. “They get information that’s presented in a different way.”
Chairman of the Board at Summit Medical Group, Jeffrey Le Benger, said the goal of the festival was to educate residents on how to improve their lifestyles. He said he starts each morning with some type of exercise and eats healthy as much as he can. Not only does being active help a person stay in shape, but it also releases endorphins, which can really make an individual feel great, he said.
“Our motto is live well, stay well,” Le Benger said.
Dr. Rob Brenner of SMG said they really want to be apart of the community. If people don’t know the proper ways to eat and maintain themselves, then he and his staff aren’t doing their jobs, he said.
“The way we see it at Summit Medical Group is we’re managing the whole population as opposed to just the patients that come and go,” Brenner said.
Dunellen resident Shelly Williams attended the event with her 11-year-old son Dorian for the first time and had a blast, she said. Dorian participated in football-like drills and maintained his balance on a moving object while having a ball thrown to him, but he didn’t fall or drop it once. He said it was a bit tough because the ball was heavy.
His mother on the other hand, is a patient at Summit Medical Group and came because she has several questions regarding exercise. She also wanted to find out when her son could begin working out, as well.
“I just want him to be in condition for whatever he decides to do in the future,” Williams said.