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Women’s Health Day to raise awareness

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the University of Maine will be participating in Women’s National Health and Fitness Day. Although this event is in its fifth year nationwide, this will be UMaine’s first time joining the festivities. Fitnessday.com, the Web site hosting this event, states, “The goal of this event is to encourage women to take control of their health, to learn the facts they need to make smart health choices, and to make time for regular physical activity.”

The Web site claims that about 50,000 women of all ages will be joining in the celebration. UMaine is only one of hundreds of locations nationwide registered to participate in this event.

Although the primary focus of the event is to inform and get women involved in health-related activities, Carey Nason, the coordinator of the Safe Campus Project and an organizer of the event, encouraged men to join the fun. According to Nason, “It is open for anyone, absolutely. We definitely want men to come.”

When asked if they would consider attending National Women’s Health and Fitness Day with events including free massages and guest speakers, the general consensus among men seemed to be yes. Officer Phil Latacz of UMaine Public Safety and psychology major Adam McKeon both agreed that if asked, they would probably attend.

The four months of planning for the event, along with the extensive list of events, should prove the function to be nothing short of impressive. On-campus activities include an organizational fair with a plethora of agencies and programs. Workshops include self-defense with Sgt. Deb Mitchell of UMaine Public Safety and presentations that vary from ‘cravings’ all the way to ‘women’s sexual health.’ A special guest is also arranged for the event, a woman best known as “Timber Tina” from “Survivor Panama,” will speak on campus at 7 p.m. in the Bangor Room of Memorial Union.

The day does not stop there. For every free event attended, which can include swimming in Wallace pool, wall climbing at Maine Bound and many other events, each participant will be entered into a free raffle with prizes such as five-hour personal training packages, massage gift certificates, cookbooks and a slot in the women’s rock climbing trip hosted by Maine Bound.

Not only has UMaine gone over the top to promote this event and make it the best it can be, but the Old Town-Orono YMCA has gotten in on the action as well. The YMCA has contributed by giving all participants a chance to take part in such activities as 20-minute table massages, use of several personal trainers for 25-minute sessions, use of the YMCA pool, and an extensive list of group exercise classes which include yoga, pilates, body sculpt and aerobics, all at no charge.

“We support people getting involved in their community. We support people having fun and enjoying what they’re doing and helping people to find ways that they can be engaged in whatever it is that’s going on. We want people to be healthy and proactive and just have a focus on doing what they need to do to take good care of themselves. So from a job standpoint, absolutely, of course we support an endeavor like this,” said Nason.

All are welcome to join the festivities, which will be held all day in Memorial Union and at the Old Town-Orono YMCA on Sept. 27.