Last Saturday I didn’t hit the SNOOZE and sleep in nor did I hit the gym for an early workout, instead I volunteered my time at the 2014 American Diabetes Association (ADA) EXPO in San Antonio, Texas. I was asked to volunteer my health coaching & fitness services in the “Por Tu Familia” section of the EXPO. The “Por Tu Familia” is the bilingual section of the EXPO which offered the following:
- Loteria de la Diabetes (Diabetes Bingo)
- Educación en nutrición (Nutrition Education Station)
- Estación ejercicio (Exercise Station)
- Prevenciendo Complicaciones de diabetes (Complication Station)
- Exámenes médicos (Screenings)
I was excited about the opportunity to interact with the community and share information on fitness plans, healthy habits and meditation!
As the EXPO approached I started getting a little nervous. What was I going to do specifically? Should I create a short fitness routine? or Should I just play it by ear? I decided to stick with the KISS approach – Keep It Simple Susie! One of the goals of this section of the EXPO was to demonstrate low cost/no cost options for effective workouts. So I chose to make some homemade weights so participants could use on the spot and easily replicate at home. I used 16.9 oz empty water bottles and filled with uncooked white rice to the top and DONE. It’s quick, simple and cheap!
The morning of the EXPO I woke up with some serious ENERGY! Went down my checklist….Water bottle/rice weights…CHECK! Music speaker box…CHECK! Cash for parking…CHECK!… BIG SMILE….CHECK CHECK! Let’s DO THIS : )
Walking up to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, I noticed a line of people waiting to get in to the EXPO – WOWZA! I walked into the HUGE Exhibit Hall and it was full of hustle and bustle everywhere. I found my area, introduced myself to the other volunteers and started setting up.
9:00am and the EXPO was OFFICIALLY ON! People started flowing through immediately. I conducted several 5 minute fitness demonstration classes throughout the day. I focused on mainly chair exercises. It was fun to see how people reacted after my chair workouts! They were super surprised on how it really got their heart rate UP and how many different exercises could be done with just one chair. Remember – low cost/no cost!
What surprised ME the most was how much my water bottle/rice weights caught peoples attention. People curiously picked up the bottle and asked, “What’s this?” It was the perfect opportunity for me to explain to them was it was, show them ways to use them and also engage them in conversation about health and fitness. Of course everyone wanted to know how much each bottle weighed! Each 16.9 oz. water/rice bottle weighed exactly 1lb. I weighed them to be accurate .. LOL
My HIGHLIGHT of the EXPO was hands down interacting with participants. I heard from one elder gentlemen about the day he was diagnosed. Another young women shared with me her struggles to promote healthy eating habits for her 8 year old daughter. A married couple shared with me their commitment to healthy living after retirement. Since retirement, they go to the gym together 3x a week and eat well balanced meals. That day I heard of the challenges, fears, hopes and triumphs of many individuals living with diabetes. I have respect and admiration for people who chose not to be a victim of their circumstances or health status. Instead they take charge of their life and actively make efforts to improve their situation.
The ADA is a great organization and provided a TOP NOTCH event for the community! If you missed the event, no worries! There are various events scheduled throughout the city monthly. Check out the website for information on upcoming events, nutrition, fitness, hot topics and much more! http://www.diabetes.org
I am honored and THANKFUL to be a part of this organization : )