Being healthy is more than just being active

Not all vendors who appeared at the event offered an official Senior Games activity such as Laura Andrews, co-owner of Chicago Greek. Andrews offered Pita Flipping as her activity attended the fair to promote the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

The Mesquite Senior Games sponsored their First Annual Fitness Fair in the new Mesquite Library Courtyard on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Most of the Senior Games events were represented and each had a physical activity for visitors to partake in. If visitors participated in all of the activities, they received a chance to be placed into a drawing for a mountain bike.

Senior Games Fitness Fair organizer, Terry Rylander, knows the benefits of staying active and healthy.

The dictionary definition of health is being in the highest state of physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. Rylander wanted this event to represent all aspects of a healthy senior lifestyle.

Not all vendors who appeared at the event offered an official Senior Games activity such as Laura Andrews, co-owner of Chicago Greek. Andrews offered Pita Flipping (It’s not as easy as you may think) as her activity and it isn’t one of the Senior Games events but Andrews wasn’t there to promote  Pita Flipping, she was there to promote the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet.

Both Andrews and her partner Tom “Tassos” Spentzos are fit and healthy, because of the long hours spent running their own business, they may not be as active as they want to be at this point in their lives. The owners do know the benefits exercise coupled with healthy cooking and wanted to share some of their knowledge with the public.

Andrews offered a slew of materials both explaining what her Greek menu items were and how beneficial they were to a healthy lifestyle.

Donna Eads counts the bounces during the First Annual Mesquite Senior Games Fitness Fair. She was there to promote her favorite activity, tennis. This was of the many activities participants had to complete to earn their chance to win a mountain bike. Eads’ activity was to have visitors bounce a ball on a tennis racquet. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Materials explained how research has shown that a traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and is associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol.

The healthy fats (Olive Oils) used in Mediterranean cooking is also associated with a reduced risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases; even women who supplement their diets with an increase of olive oil and nuts have a reduced risk of Breast Cancer.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating primarily plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy oils. It uses herbs and spices rather than salt for flavoring. A traditional diet limits your intake of red meat and promotes eating chicken and fish several times per week. Grains are typically whole grains that usually contain very few trans fats and bread is a staple but it’s eaten dipped in olive oil rather than butter. The diet doesn’t encourage limiting total fat consumption, it encourages making wise choices about the type of fats you consume.

The Mesquite Senior Games Fitness Fair gave Mesquite residents a great selection of things to do and see during the day but there was much more than just the games being promoted.

Rylander chose the venue because she also wanted to give residents and visitors a chance to see everything the new library has to offer in keeping with the social and mental aspects of health; plus she thinks it’s amazing and everyone should have the chance to visit. The café owner even has some specials on hot dogs and other treats for those who chose to grab a bite in between or after a day of making their rounds at the many tables that were part of the event.

Mesquite Senior Games events take place in March and April, you can learn more about the various activities they offer by visiting their website: www.mesquiteseniorgames.org.

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