In a world full of fads, women’s fitness is not a craze or a novelty or even a whim. A fad is defined as an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived or without basis in the object’s qualities. Synonyms include fixation, trend, fashion, or the latest thing; however, none of these terms apply to long-term women’s health and fitness.
Forest Public Library and a local fitness center are partnering together to present Fitness Day at The Library on Saturday, September 21, from 9:00 a.m. until Noon. The focus of the event is to encourage and celebrate women’s health and fitness as a lifestyle and not a fad.
Forest Public Library Branch Manager, Dianne McLaurin, understands the importance of this message. “In February of this year, I joined a local fitness center to lose some extra pounds. For the first six-weeks of the program, I achieved all my goals and posted transformation pictures with zeal! Everyone was so excited that I had joined the “fitness craze” in Forest. However, it did not take long to realize that women’s fitness is not a six-week program, but rather a lifestyle of nutrition, exercise and accountability. Fitness is not a fad.”
Forest firefighter, Jordan Barnes, the owner of the fitness center compares this concept to a three-legged stool. Without all three legs of support — sustained nutrition, regular exercise and personal accountability — the stool will not provide the adequate foundation for a healthy lifestyle. When approached about partnering with the library about a free health and fitness workshop for women, Barnes said that community collaboration is necessary to spread this important message.
National Women’s Health and Fitness Day is celebrated each year on the last Wednesday of September and is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. Even though the library could not participate in the official nationwide event on September 25, the local organizers wanted to focus attention on the importance of physical activity and healthy eating by hosting a Saturday September program.
The City of Forest is designated as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Healthy Hometown, and McLaurin participated in the grant process by serving on the Forest Healthy Hometown Committee. The Central Mississippi Regional Library System was just recently awarded a grant to provide Fit Kits for checkout to patrons. These fitness kits include everything from Zumba and Pilates to weight-lifting and yoga.
In the past few years, the library has also partnered with Lackey Memorial Hospital to present health literacy programs for residents of all ages, from preschool to senior citizens. Hospital spokesperson Nicole Kennedy said, “the hospital will have a table set up during the event to provide handouts about breast cancer and bone density scans in preparation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Workshop participants can also register to win a free mammogram.”
“What we all want Forest residents to understand is that women’s health and fitness is not a fad. As someone nearing retirement years, I understand the idea of slowing down and enjoying life. Still, healthy eating and regular exercise are not ‘phases’ that we outgrow or a ‘craze’ that is no longer fashionable. I think the library and our partners have created an amazing program that will interest everyone and confirm our commitment to women’s health and the overall health of our town,” McLaurin added.
Fitness Day @ The Library begins at 9:00 a.m. on September 21. The workshop schedule is as follows:
9:00 a.m. — Jordan Barnes, Accountability and Personal Training
Healthy Lifestyle Motivation and Management, Proper Use of Exercise Equipment
Exercise Modification for All Ages.
10:00 a.m. — Joanne Jones, ZUMBA Class Demonstration
11:00 a.m. — The Importance of Nutritious Meal Plans with Jordan Barnes, Meal Prepping for Busy Lives and Healthy Samples with Katie McLaurin
Healthy Shakes, Smoothies, and Teas with C & C Power Nutrition
For more information concerning FITNESS DAY @ THE LIBRARY, please call 601-469-1481 or email fobm@cmrls-.lib.ms.us.