Families seek health at YMCA, Methodist event - February 22, 2014

Courtesy of NWI Times

VALPARAISO | Like many mothers, Leah Bromley has been trying to get her children to eat healthier and exercise more.

So when the second annual Family Health Day at the Valparaiso Family YMCA took place Sunday, she wanted to be there.

Sponsored by Methodist Hospitals and the YMCA, the event featured health screenings for blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index.

There also were classes in Zumba, yoga, Pilates, boot camp and healthy cooking demonstrations by dietitians.

Fairgoers also browsed tables offering information on topics such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, smoking cessation, breast health and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Bromley and her daughter Lauren, 11, had their body mass index measured and were looking at taking a family Zumba class.

“I’ve been trying to get the kids to eat healthier,” said Bromley, who also has a son, Ryan, 15. “We want to exercise more, and we’re thinking about joining the Y.”

Lauren said she enjoyed a chocolate drink sample from Roots Organic Juice Cafe. She also planned to visit Staley Da Bear, the Chicago Bears mascot, who was a special guest at the fair along with mascots Rusty and Rascal from the Gary South Shore RailCats and Max from Methodist Hospitals.

For Valparaiso resident Nancy Koch, 75, and her brother, Gil Stephens, 70, of Jackson Township, the event was an opportunity to get tips on staying healthy.

Stephens said he wanted to compare his blood pressure testing equipment at home with the equipment at the fair. He filled out paperwork and joined residents waiting to have their blood pressure taken.

Marcia Brewer, director of the heart and vascular institute at Methodist Hospitals, said people may be at high risk for a heart attack or stroke but have never been tested.

“There are some people who refuse to go to the doctor, but they will come to a health fair,” she said.