BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. — The Health Tent has been a Berrien County Youth Fair tradition for 40 years, offering tests, tips and information on everything from lowering blood pressure to the benefits of getting outside more often.
But you don’t have to wait for fair week 2018 for Health Tent help.
“This year we’re focusing more on getting people to come out for events that are happening throughout the year and trying to get the churches to do more health-related events throughout the year,” said Rhonda Johnson, Health Tent treasurer.
A listing of those events can be found online at www.healthtent.org.
Johnson said contact information collected at the fair makes it easier to disseminate targeted, year-round information.
“If we’re going to have a stop-smoking clinic, someone who checked ‘I want more information’ in that, or ‘I want more information on Bible studies,’ then we contact them,” she said.
Upcoming programs include:
• A total body fitness class from 5-5:50 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 7 in the Lanson Hall Aerobics Room, 8585 University Blvd., Berrien Springs, Mich., 269-313-8774.
• Diabetes prevention and management classes, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 14, 410 Hill St., Dowagiac, Mich., 269-313-2716.
• H20Fit aqua aerobics classes, 7:30-8:15 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 6, Beaty Pool, 8522 E. Campus Circle, Berrien Springs, Mich., 269-313-8774.
• Fairplain Fit & Fun, 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Edith B. Garrett School, 140 Seneca Road, Benton Harbor, Mich.
• Health & Fitness Expo, Oct. 1, Johnson Gym at Andrews University, 8520 E. Campus Circle, Berrien Springs, Mich.
• Optimize Your Brain with Neil Nedley, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays Oct. 19-Dec. 14, 635 St. Joseph Ave., Berrien Springs, Mich., 269-471-7795.
• Soups and Sandwich Spreads cooking class, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 22, 635 St. Joseph Ave., Berrien Springs, Mich., 269-471-7795.
Johnson said local pastors and congregations from Seventh-day Adventist churches are involved in the annual Health Tent effort, which offers blood pressure checks, body mass index assessments, facial scanners that indicate sun damage, a grip strength test, timing people’s ability to sit down and stand up, free water and lots of literature.
Johnson said about 240 volunteers staff the Health Tent during fair week.
“I love talking to people about their health. Everybody has a different issue,” volunteer Marvin Engelkemier said. “Some of them want to come in and do some fun stuff. Others have life issues that they’re dealing with, and probably the deepest one is motivation. People come and say ‘I know I should do this or do that, but I just don’t quite get the motivation.’ We have some suggestions to motivate. You can make small changes for example, you don’t have to start with the big things, just something that’s very doable. And then give yourself lots of credit for getting that done and move on to the next step.”