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Wellness movement alive and well in Huron

Posted: Monday, Feb 11th, 2013

Dr. Wayne Carr presents information about the Wellness Committee’s strategic plan, entitled Vitality Huron, which is available online at www.vitalityhuron.com. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

The Huron Wellness Committee recently celebrated the wellness movement in Huron at a Vitality Lunch on Jan. 24.

The lunch brought together community members to learn more about the wellness committee, share some inspirational stories and to hear how Vitality Huron, the strategic plan of the Huron Wellness Committee, is more than just words on paper.

Dr. Wayne Carr welcomed attendees and reviewed the strategic plan. He explained the importance of the work the committee has achieved over the last two and one-half years.

“There are countless examples of the need for the work we are doing in the news every day,” said Carr. “And if you look around at all the chronic disease in our society, you can’t help but be motivated to make a change in your own wellness and do what you can to assist others in their wellness journey.”

Carr described 2012 as a year of awareness for the need of wellness and predicted 2013 will be a year of results from the work individuals and organizations such as the Huron Wellness Committee have made to produce a healthier, happier and more active society.

“A great example of this awareness came in a report from NPD Group, a consumer market research firm, which found that fresh fruit is the most popular snacking food in America,” Carr reported. According to the report, “Snacking in America,” fresh fruit is preferred by Americans 10 times more than chocolate and 25 times more than potato chips. Researchers attributed the rise in preference for fresh fruit to several factors, including Americans’ increasing focus on their health and fruit being a particular favorite among children and senior citizens, among other age groups.

Sarah Seidel, a registered dietitian for Huron Regional Medical Center and chairperson of the Nutrition Subcommittee, presented the results of a recent Community Nutrition Survey.

The survey results will assist the Nutrition Subcommittee in developing strategies to help individuals in choosing healthier options in our local grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants. “We were happy to see the results of the survey showing that people are very interested in making healthy decisions, but we feel that sometimes it is difficult to tell what the healthy choice might be,” said Seidel. “That is why we are creating a marketing campaign to help people make the healthy choice the easy choice. It focuses on public education and highlighting healthful items available in our community.”

Nikki Eining, the Wellness Coordinator, invited the guests to share some of their success stories. Several students from SDSU and Professor Don Burger were in the audience and reported on the SDSU Active Transportation Assessment Project they are doing in Huron as a result of a grant that the community recently received.

Active Transportation integrates physical activity into daily routines such as walking or biking to destinations like work, school, grocery stores or parks. Active transportation policies and practices in community design, land use and facility access have been proven effective to increase physical activity. Improving the environment conducive to active transportation also improves community aesthetics, enhances the economy of a community and improves overall community connectedness and quality of life.

SDSU Landscape Architecture students and professors will make two to three onsite visits to Huron in early 2013 to meet with community leaders, gather information and conduct assessments. Based on community assessments, students will develop recommendations and return to Huron in late spring to present findings.

Melanie Harrington, Putters and Scoops, presented information on Huron and Bloom and her dream, which began with a few flowers at Ravine Lake and transformed into hundreds of flowers at Ravine Lake — and hopefully, thousands throughout the entire community.

She then shared information on the Bountiful Baskets program in Huron and invited everyone to visit their website to learn more at bountifulbaskets.org. Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op is a participatory experience. Participants all save a substantial amount of money on healthy food. In exchange there are no employees to guide participants through the experience.

Ralph Borkowski, City of Huron planner, also presented information about the City Employees Wellness Plan, Get Fit Huron. Ralph explained that the plan was started because the city wanted to have happier, healthier and more productive employees.

He also stated that the rising cost of healthcare, in particular the health insurance premiums of the city continue to escalate out of control. The city decided to take an active role in assisting their employees to achieve better health. “In our first year of existence we were able to work with SDSU nursing students to do health assessments and provide interactive educational experiences which promote better eating and more activity,” said Borkowski. The Get Fit Huron plan also hosted a pedometer walking challenge, Nordby Center tour, various activities at Putters and Scoops and met with their insurance provider to learn more about wellness screens.

Shelly Buddenhagen, Nordby Center director, provided information about a Zumba Marathon being hosted at the wellness center on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 9 to 11 a.m.

The public is invited to enjoy a great free workout, learn about the great health benefits of Zumba and enjoy exercising. All skill levels are invited to attend.

Danette Peterson gave everyone in attendance a coupon for a high energy lunch and provided information on how to be healthy and more fit.

Several other attendees reported on ways they or their organizations are engaged in or promoting wellness in the Huron community.

Eining closed the luncheon by encouraging everyone to be a role model for other members of the community by living a holistic healthy lifestyle and getting involved in some of the many activities in Huron that promote wellness. She explained to the guests that the Wellness Committee is here to assist in promoting wellness at work, schools and civic organization and invited individuals or organizations to contact the Wellness Committee if they need any assistance. She also invited participants to join one of the many subcommittees of the Wellness Committee.

During the lunch, the Wellness Committee launched their next community challenge, the Colorful Choices Challenge. For more information about the challenge and the Wellness Committee visit www.vitalityhuron.com or email huronwellness@gmail.com.

For the complete article see the 02-10-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-10-2013 paper.

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