Students Put ‘Heart’ Into Fitness Campaign

Ramapo's Health Awareness Team organized the "Have Heart" Health & Fitness Panel Luncheon last Thursday, honoring American Heart Health month and raising money for the local nonprofit organization Heart to Hearts.

"All the money raised today will be donated to Heart to Hearts so they can continue their mission," said senior Carol Hasenbalg.

Donations were welcomed upon entering Friends Hall. Attendees were provided with healthy catered food from ShopRite and a chance to win $25 ShopRite cards, free CrossFit training for a month and CrossFit shirts in a raffle.

The luncheon was a part of "Have Heart," a health and wellness campaign developed by Hasenbalg for her senior communications project.

"We developed a campaign to raise awareness and money for a heart health nonprofit called Heart to Hearts to educate people on heart healthy choices," said Hasenbalg "This event in particular was to give basic information on nutrition and fitness that we can all do today to prevent illness down the line."

Dietician Jennifer Blume from the ShopRite of Ramsey gave students tips on nutrition and ways to live a healthier lifestyle at the luncheon. Blume focused on ways to eat healthy, meal plans, how to read nutrition facts and portion control.

Blume quoted a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that stated, "In the United States, 1 in 3 people will have Type 2 diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue."

Blume's statistics and helpful tips brought awareness to students about the need to improve their nutrition.

"This event brought attention to good facts," said senior Brianna Farulla. "It made me think about how I can improve on my nutrition."

Personal trainer and CrossFit ACT owner, Jessica Murden, was also present at the luncheon. Murden's presentation got the audience involved and made them aware that anyone is capable of doing CrossFit. She discussed what CrossFit really entails, covered training basics, types of exercises and programs and nutrition.

Murden emphasized that the number one thing she tells people who are looking to improve on their health and fitness is to have patience.

"You have to put in the time and effort… there is no quick fix," said Murden,

Murden provided insight into CrossFit, cleared up common misconceptions that people have about health and fitness and urged everyone in attendance to start improving their fitness right away.

"Start a program now, stop procrastinating," Murden said.

Having a dietician and personal trainer in attendance allowed students to get reliable advice from a convenient, on-campus event.

"This is a good way to get information out to students to try to stay healthy and live healthy lives on campus," said sophomore and Health Awareness Team member Sara Murphy. "The advice was really helpful."