SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Ron is 52, married with two children, and weighs 168 pounds. At five feet, nine inches, he considers his health about average, but he also knows he needs to start paying more attention to what he eats and how much he exercises.
Yet after Saturday’s health fair sponsored by the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, Ron now knows more about himself and his health than he did a day earlier. “I learned that my body-mass index is 23.5, which is not too bad, and that my cholesterol is a bit higher than I had hoped,” said Ron after visiting the fair.
Ron joined hundreds of others at the Saturday event, which was co-sponsored by JFK Health System and Prudential New Jersey Properties.
“The idea is to give people one place where they and their families can learn about healthy living,” said Mayor Matt Anesh when describing the event’s purpose.
This is the group’s fourth health fair. So far they’ve been held in the fall, and this is the first time the members held one in the spring. It’s also the first time the event featured a walk-a-thon, where residents raised money for charity by walking around Spring Lake Park.
In addition to finding out about their cholesterol and BMI, there were dozens of other exhibits at the fair for those wanting to learn more about their health. For example, those concerned about asthma and other lung problems could test their lung capacity, and people worried about blood sugar could get a glucose screening.
But the fair also helped people learn about tools for healthy and safe living. Exhibitors gave out hand sanitizer, dental floss, and even tissues. At the other end of the room a police officer was on hand to finger print kids, while at another table fitness experts talked about how to incorporate exercise into daily living.
The fair also kicked off “Step it Up South Plainfield,” a contest for those wanting to get fit by walking more. The town-wide contest features prizes for people who sign up to use a pedometer to count their steps.
“The contest emphasizes that health isn’t just a one-day thing,” said Anesh when explaining the contest. “It’s about making changes that go into effect all the time.”