Health and wellness promoted

By Heidi Robitaile

A free community walking event will be held at the Superior Dome to promote health and wellness.

It will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on February 1 and is free for all to participate. The Superior Dome will also be open for walking, free of charge throughout the week.

“A group of health promoting agencies come together to encourage to get active and eat well,” said Barb Coleman, Coordinator of the Exercise Science Lab in NMU’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Department.

The walk was changed from a one mile walk test to just a walking event. Prizes will be given away and a raffle for a pair of walking shoes from Johnson’s Superior shoes will be held.

“[There is] no set distance that people have to walk. By walking, they’ll be entered to qualify into the raffle,” Coleman said.

Besides walking, healthy eating will be promoted. A meeting was held in November to review the results of the Marquette County Community Health Assessment results.

“As part of that collaborative process one of the top three areas of concern is the county obesity rates,” said Jill Fries, Marquette County Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

NMU’s Dining Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield wellness information, and NMU’s Recreational Services will have displays on hand to encourage healthy living.

“It’s not just walking,” Coleman said. “I do think the nutritional aspect is equally important here because we have nutritional experts on hand.”

At the Dome Walking Event, there will be free access to a variety of professionals in the health and wellness fields to answer questions and concerns.

“This is a collaborative event,” Fries said. “There are several organizations involved in this. The Health Department in conjunction with the Marquette County Y have been leaders in the community to both assess the health of Marquette County residents and identify areas of concern and implement necessary changes to address identified health concerns.”

Marquette General Hospital, Bell Memorial Hospital, YMCA, NMU Exercise Science Lab and Recreational Services will be on hand. There will be a chance to sign up for the next upcoming community wellness challenge between Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming and Gwinn as well.