SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The 2021 Fit For Life, Health & Wellness Expo took place on Saturday at the Shreveport Convention Center, which aimed to promote fitness and health to the Shreveport/Bossier community.
The fifth annual Expo, which in previous years was held in February or early March, was delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s event was held on Feb. 29, less than a month before Gov. John Bel Edwards locked down the state in response to the high number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths in Louisiana.
Throughout the year, the orders were lifted in phases as COVID-19 cases and deaths began to diminish, but it was only in late May that Edwards lifted most remaining restrictions.
Saturday’s 2021 Health and Fitness Expo was held less than a month after restrictions were lifted, which may help explain why this year’s event had the largest crowd since the event began.
Robert ‘Super-Mann Blount,’ executive director of Fit For Life Ministries and one of the founders of the Fit for Life Health and Wellness Expo, said Louisiana leads the nation in cancer, stroke, and heart disease, which is why he believes the Expo is so important in educating people on what it means to be healthy and how to stay that way.
While vendors and volunteers from around the Ark-La-Tex provided information and resources to help people kick start their post-pandemic wellness program and get back in shape through diet, exercise and healthy habits.
Instant COVID-19 tests were available, while David Raines Community Health Centers David Raines administered COVID-19 vaccinations. Life Share blood center was accepting blood donations.
Eye Central was there with a machine that could determine eyeglasses’ prescriptions and giving information on eye health, as well as coupons to save on prescription glasses, while Southern University’s Dental Hygiene program gave tips on dental health, as well as free toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The LPN and CNA program at SUSLA also was there administering blood pressure screenings and recommendations for lifestyle changes that can prevent diabetes, hypertension and strokes.
There also was the annual Governor’s Games Martial Arts Championship for different age groups and divisions, and Jat gaveoopWe’ve got people checking eye sights, karate tournaments, as well as Jazzercise classes.
“It’s about just moving. It’s not just for the health buffs, the fitness gurus. But it’s about everybody just moving and being healthy,” said Marissa Diaz, KTAL/KMSS Digital Director, and after-hours Jazzercise instructor.
“Being fit for life is not an option; it’s a necessity – you need to eat better, change your diet, exercise more and you will alleviate most of the chronic diseases (that are) in your life,” Blount said.
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