AIIAS is helping people who want to establish healthy habits but have very little motivation to do so. The Public Health Department initiated a 6-week Health Festival from September 18 to October 30, 2016 with the slogan, “stop wishing, start doing”.
A month prior to the event, the current Master in Public Health (MPH) students, along with their professors, reviewed data from previous AIIAS Health Festivals while searching for more effective strategies in health improvement. Together, they planned and recommended programs to cater to the health needs of the community.
A health screening session was done for all participants to determine their fitness level. Initially, there were approximately 78 participants but as the word spread about the program, there was an increase in the number of people currently joining the activities. There are now more than 90 people excluding 18 coaches who guides, encourages, and works with the participants.
To launch the program, a Nutrition Workshop took place in September 25, 2016 at the AIIAS Function Hall. Carrie Beets, MD (Alternative Medicine) and Professor Emeritus on Clinical Osteopathy, spoke on the benefits of incorporating salads into meals from a nutritional perspective.
The participants were motivated to perform an activity on how to prepare salad using various kinds of local vegetables and ingredients to create 6 types of dressings. Also as part of the activity, a prize was given to the participant who was able to consume the most number of salads as part of the first health challenge. About 86 people participated in the first workshop.
“The health festival weekend is wonderful,” verbalized Natasha Nangoy, a participant from Indonesia. “For me personally, the health festival program has motivated me to exercise daily and to plan a healthy menu for my family.”
The Health Festival also includes a regular schedule for exercises that are highly beneficial to one’s health. The exercise routines are categorized into categories namely regular, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The morning schedule is at 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and the evening schedule is at 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
According to Darrel Wah, a student from Malaysia, “a person has already lost 4-6 kg since starting the program for 2 weeks, a few have had to adjust their clothes as they’ve lost weight, a soccer player said that he has more energy on the field and plays better.”
Another Nutrition Workshop is scheduled on October 23, 2016, at the AIIAS Function Hall with topics regarding aid in relieving stress and a practical workshop on healthy desserts. The culmination of the Health Festival will be something to look forward to this October 28-30, 2016 as the participants graduate from the program.
Photo credit: Natasha Nangoy