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Team OC partners with local community to bring free health event

The Team OC Fitness and Wellness Festival will offer a variety of activities to encompass mental, physical and spiritual health on April 1. The event includes free fitness classes as well as seminars, giveaways, an exhibition featuring businesses such as Whole Foods and Organic Squeeze, children’s yoga, Choose Your K, local food trucks and a presentation by Olympic medalist and cancer survivor Earl Young.

Sophomore McKenna Box a, member of the festival planning committee, said this event will provide students and the local community with resources to help them lead a healthy life.

“I just felt like having this festival would be a good opportunity to bring in local businesses and show students as well as the community there are healthy options around,” Box said. “A lot of people want to live a healthy lifestyle but they don’t know there are a lot of healthy options that can help support that.”

Along with exercise classes taught by local studios and Team OC instructors, the event offers seminars on nutrition and mental health. Box said it is important for individuals to learn tools to not only improve their physical health but also their mental health.

“Our goal was really to encompass all areas of health, because if you have a healthy body, but not a healthy mind, you’re not going to be very well off,” Box said.

Team OC fitness instructor Arianne Gillham said she wanted to be a part of the festival to fight against unhealthy habits in an attempt to transform the community.

“There is so much suffering due to poor health. I want everyone to know that a healthy lifestyle is available and obtainable to everyone and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive,” Gillham said. “We can come together as a community and make this the new norm.”

Gillham said the event is open to all ages, but she especially wants to encourage students to attend. According to Gillham, healthy habits are crucial to development in college.

“We can all benefit from a healthier lifestyle,” Gillham said. “Starting these habits, or even just planting a seed, at a young age is so much easier than those of us who leave it later in life and have to really struggle to overcome a lifetime of bad habits.”

Assistant Professor of Nursing and Team OC Yoga Instructor Courtney McCoy said health is a main priority in her life, and she wants to help others prioritize their personal wellness, as well. McCoy said instead of telling someone to lead a healthier life, this festival allows individuals to experience the benefits of exercise firsthand through the classes.

“I personally feel better when I’m active on a regular basis. I can tell when I get out of that routine, and my mood isn’t as good, “ McCoy said. “It’s hard to get that across to someone by just telling them, they have to experience it themselves.”

According to McCoy, the festival will help fight against certain stigmas associated with health.

“People will hear ‘health and wellness’ or ‘fitness’ or ‘diets’ and they think they’re going to have to restrict themselves from certain things,” McCoy said. “I’m a big fan of moderation and not telling yourself you can’t have certain things or do certain things, but making sure the things you know aren’t great for you, you do only in moderation.”

McCoy said along with the other activities available, individuals should take advantage of the free fitness classes being offered. Although fitness classes can be intimidating, McCoy said participants should seize the opportunity to learn more about what exercises work best for them.

“A lot of people are timid about group fitness classes, especially if it’s a class you’ve never gone to before,” McCoy said. “But be okay with stepping outside your comfort zone and give it a try.”

The Team OC Fitness and Wellness Festival is April 1 from 6:30 a.m.-1p.m. A registration table will be set up in the Gaylord University Center at 6 a.m.. for participants to pick up an event map and schedule.

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