Howard Payne University holds health fair for students and staff

BROWNWOOD, Texas - Howard Payne University (HPU) decided to celebrate the first day of spring by holding a "Spring Into Health" fair, a campus event that got students thinking about making better choices in their lives, in terms of diets and exercise regimes.

The Brownwood Health Department and Brownwood Crossfit were among many organizations that were on campus Thursday to show students the importance of taking care of their bodies.

"We're hoping it will motivate people to step outside of their comfort zones and trying new activities," said Shelby Wade, Brownwood Crossfit trainer and owner.

Several workout demonstrations were held throughout the course of the fair.

However, some HPU staff members said there is more to staying well than physical fitness.

"We're helping raise campus awareness of all the dimensions of health and wellness, not just the physical and nutritional but the social, spiritual, emotional, occupational," said Dr. Graham Thatcher, HPU Professor of Exercise & Sports Science. "They're certainly dealing with stress and emotions of everything that accompanies this phase in their life. It's a time where they're encountering a whole host of challenges."

"We're trying to talk to them about everything from sleeping right and how that can change your life in some ways," said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU First Lady.

HPU Public Relations senior, Cameron Polaski, said he enjoyed the event and has already made changes to his lifestyle.

"It's really motivated me to sort of have a good rhythm and have a good discipline of how to take care of I'm about to exit college and go into the real world," said Polaski. "I've been doing a lot more exercising lately, doing a lot more healthy eating, thinking a lot more, and reading my Bible a lot more."

This is the first time HPU held this particular fair, although Dr. Ellis said she is hoping to make it an annual event. She also said this fair is a kickoff for a campus-wide wellness program.

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