First health fair promotes healthy living
Chiropractor Dr. Jeffrey Smith shows Carl D'antuono where his spine is slightly curved. The Elmwood Park Parks and Recreation Department hosted its first health and fitness fair on Saturday at the Civic Center. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 19, 2012 2:27PM
ELMWOOD PARK — From drawing blood to testing for glaucoma, the doctors were in the house Saturday as part of Elmwood Park’s first health fair.
Elmwood Park’s Parks and Recreation Department organized the Health and Fitness Fair Oct. 13 at the department’s recreation center, 2 Conti Parkway. The department is trying to encourage participants to exercise more, eat right and take better care of themselves.
More than 200 people showed up Saturday. Each person received a pledge card, promising to take more responsibility when it comes to managing their health and fitness. Participants were given a goal to visit at least six of the 12 health activities offered at the fair.
Al Schmidt, director of Elmwood Park Parks and Recreation, said it was a motivational tool. Those that met that goal and signed the pledge card received a free T-shirt and a rubber wristband with the event’s slogan on it.
“It’s about self responsibility,” he said. “I want to get you excited about taking care of your own self.”
Activities offered were for blood pressure, blood typing, chiropractic screening, EKG, vision screening, posture analysis, self-defense, personal training, Triton College Fitness Test, heart rate, body mass index and Reiki energy.
The more sophisticated tests took place on a bus owned by HealthFair, a national leader in mobile health screenings, which works with Loyola University Health System.
Those who made reservations could receive an abdominal aneurysm ultrasound, a peripheral arterial disease test and hardening of the arteries test along with other screenings for about $169. Participants could receive free flu shots, take advantage of a chair massage and were shown how to perform cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation, as well as books and DVDs from the Elmwood Park Library promoting healthy cooking.
“We had a couple of food vendors that were promoting healthy eating,” Schmidt said.
Donna Sabella, who works at the recreation department, discovered she needed orthotics for her shoes after receiving a screening from a chiropractor.
“I found out I was flat-footed,” she said. “I should get orthotics to help my knees.”
Schmidt hopes those who attended got something out of it to motivate them to live healthier.
“Instead of watching what everyone else is doing, live it,” he said.