By Steven Johnson ‘13

This month, students with the College of Education and Health Sciences hosted the second-annual 2013 Fit Fair at the Markin Family Student Recreation Center. The fair is a collaborative effort between students, campus organizations and businesses that teamed up on campus to promote health and wellness. The event featured taste testing wholesome snacks, health screenings, free massages and booths on health education.

“The Fit Fair is designed to bring the community to Bradley’s campus to get students and staff more involved with being fit and active,” said Eric Mason, a senior and one of the organizers of the fair. “We’re promoting Bradley’s food services and trying to show people the healthy options available on campus.”

The fair saw more than 625 people attend and featured the support of the Bradley Dining Services, Sysco food vendors, Campus Recreation, the Wellness Department, sporting goods store Running Central, Bradley health and counseling services as well as nursing students and physical therapy doctoral students.

"I had fun going to all the booths and it was a great learning experience,” said Lindsay Waxman, a doctoral student in the Department of Physical Therapy who attended the fair. “It helped me realize that I not only can incorporate wellness in exercising but also in the foods I eat."

Jessica Revord ’11, a graduate assistant with the Wellness Program and organizer of the fair, said the event serves as a great way to start 2013 on the right, and healthy, foot.

“The Fit Fair is a health initiative and a kick-off to the new year,” she said. “It all started last year when I came up with the idea. I really love running expos, so I figured why don’t we do some type of health expo where everybody can come and learn something new?

Revord said the purpose behind the Fit Fair is twofold. On one hand, she wants people to enjoy the free food and activities offered but, on the other, she hopes attendees learn something new about themselves or about a health-related issue.

Overall, she is pleased with the level of exposure and success the Fit Fair has garnered since she and other students hosted the first fair last year. The event doubled the number of vendors this year and Revord said, “It’s been really exciting to see the growth over the past few years.”  She said the event was advertised both on campus and in the Peoria community.

Get Fit, Stay Fit is at an all-time high in participation numbers nearing 900 students, faculty, and staff. That is almost 1/6 of the Bradley community. People who attended were able to come away with some delicious new healthy foods, new knowledge of health related issues, knowledge about their muscles, a free massage, a chance to win gifts and a gait analysis amongst other things.

“This truly has been an amazing adventure being able to start a new tradition at Bradley University,” Revord said. “I hope to come back even stronger next year, in year three of the Bradley University Fit Fair.