YMCA event to encourage healthy habits

Todd G. Higdon

In a way to help individuals stay and become healthy, the first Live Smart event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Morse Park and the Lampo Building.

“It is meant to encourage people to eat better and move more so that we can have healthier Southwest Missouri,” said Jenny Holweger, YMCA executive director.

Live Smart is held in conjunction with the Southwest Missouri Community Alliance with the sub-committee of Community Health Collaborative of Jasper and Newton Counties.

“All are healthy activities that people can do easily with their family,” added Patti Yates, nursing supervisor with the Newton County Health Department.

The event is free of charge and open to everyone.

Starting at 8 a.m., free health screenings will be offered in the Lampo Building.

Freeman Hospital will be offering diabetes, cholesterol and other screenings. St. John’s will be offering bone density, oxygen stat and other screenings. And Family Pharmacy will be offering blood pressure, glucose and oxygen stat screenings.

According to Holweger, “if you plan to do any of the blood screenings, please do not eat after midnight the day before.”

Also at 8 a.m., a 5K run and one-mile walk will be held through Morse Park (it will start at the soccer parking lot across from the helicopter). The run features three age groups with medals for the top three in each age group. The walk is just a fun walk and everyone is encouraged to participate.

“We will have 11 informational booths outside of the Lampo Building,” noted Holweger.

“All of the booths will concentrate on some form of healthy diet and or physical activity.”

Also, the first 100 people will receive a free T-shirt from the Live Smart booth. Door prizes will be given at area booths. Booths include: Family Pharmacy, Community Clinic, the Girl Scouts, Curves, The Diet Center, the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA, St. John’s SportsCare, and the Economic Security Corp. Head Start.

Grand prizes include YMCA family membership, bikes and more.

Other events

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., participants can watch demonstrations and try a few moves with area experts specializing in physical activity.

Events include:

8:30 a.m.: Tai Chi with YMCA instructor Travis Christenson

9 a.m.: Zumba with YMCA instructor Jennifer Hunter

9:30 a.m.: Boot camp with YMCA instructor Liz Scheurich

10 a.m.: Swiss Ball and Strength Training with St. John’s instructor Shandon

11 a.m.: Martial arts

11:30 a.m.: Sensations Dance Studio

At 10:30 a.m., Master Gardener Jackie Hoyez will speak in the Lampo Building. Learn how to plant a healthy garden and harvest fresh ingredients to use in cooking meals.

This event is sponsored by the Neosho Daily News, Family Pharmacy, the YMCA and the Newton/ Jasper County Health Collaborative. In addition to the event participants, many community organizations have worked hard to provide this event, including the Alliance of Southwest Missouri, Neosho Parks and Recreation Department, the Neosho R-5 School District, and the Neosho Chamber of Commerce. 

The event is open rain or shine.

Jasper County held a Live Smart event last week and 200 people showed up.

“We are hoping to have between 200 to 250 people,” said Holweger.

Jenny Holweger’s column, which appears in the Neosho Daily News on Mondays, was used in writing this article.