Fitness_10/22_kd, Fitness Expo jump-starts today

By Gus Bode

Activity encourages education in party atmosphere

Elizabeth Scally, director of marketing and conferencing for University Housing, is not so anxious to get on the little three-wheeled bike today, but she does not have much of a choice.

As part of the 2002 Fitness Expo, the tricycles are on loan to University Housing from the Student Center on one condition – Scally must go for a ride.

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“I was told that I had to do it,” she said.

Golf, tricycles and hula hoops are not things SIUC students generally associate with physical fitness, but they will today as University Housing launches its 2002 Fitness Expo from 4 to 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Grinnell Dining Hall.

Dawn Null, nutrition counselor for University Housing and head organizer for the Expo, said it is important for students as well as faculty to be educated about fitness and nutrition, if for no other reason than to increase their awareness.

“We can make sure they’re aware of some of the resources out there,” she said. “This is education, but in a fun way.”

The one-day event features a score of free activities, educational seminars and assessments. Participants will have to opportunity to analyze their body fat, stress, blood pressure, and grip strength while learning about hydration, dietary supplements, healthy eating in dining halls, weight management and more.

But the main goal, while to educate, is to have fun.

Participants can even have their heads digitally imposed on Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls.

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“Barbie has become a symbol for women, which is unfortunate because she is not in proportion for normal women,” Null said. “Girls can have their faces cut out and placed on the doll. And then, of course, we have G.I. Joe for the guys.”

Participants can also receive free prizes, T-shirts and refreshments throughout the day as well as gift bags to the first 500 participants.

This is the first year University Housing has sponsored the event during the fall. The Fitness Expo has only been sponsored in the spring in past years, to coincide with nutrition month. After the success of last spring’s event, the decision was made to also organize it in the fall, and they are anticipating a similar response.

“This is the age when mom and dad are not there to tell you when and what to eat,” Scally said. “Students need to learn about taking care of themselves, and what to do to get through their adult life.”

And the Fitness Expo aims to help the transition.

Null said that while the event is targeted to students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. The 2002 Fitness Expo even has a Fit over Fifty booth aimed solely at SIUC’s older population.

“Of course, we would love to see them on tricycles too,” she said.

Reporter Katie A. Davis can be reached at [email protected]

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