WOW: Getting Women's Wellness in Check at Heston Farm Winery
By Julie Perine on July 16, 2012
And to that, the WVU Center of Excellence in Women’s Health says “WOW.”
That acronym stands for “Women on Wellness,” a wellness retreat to be held Saturday at Heston Farm in Fairmont.
For $50 each, attendees will explore the benefits to body, mind and soul, delving into everything from yoga and zumba to nutrition and heart health. On site will be local wellness, holistic and movement providers, as well as health screenings covering everything from oral health to body mass index to a full lipid panel.
“It’s a day of no judgment for women,” said Betty Critch, Executive Director, National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, West Virginia University. “It’s about taking a day for yourself, experiencing these things and being in an environment where you can ask questions.”
The day gets underway at 7:30 a.m., with registration, screenings and breakfast, followed by a series of workshops.
“We have three different movement sessions, trying to show women that they have to find a movement or activity that is fun or they’re not going to do it,” Critch said. “We’ll also have holistic offerings that they’ll be able to try.”
Participating women will work throughout the day with a guidebook based on five steps to leading a healthier lifestyle as defined by Julie Smith, Ph.D., founder and CEO of LifePath, LLC.
It’s an interactive process which involves all aspects of body, mind and soul, Critch said.
“It’s not just about a diet. If it was, there wouldn’t be another best-selling diet book every month,” she said. “This runs the whole gamut, empowering women to do all of these things. Women make 85 percent of the health care decisions for their families and make 85 to 90 percent of all major household purchases, yet we don’t understand that we have that power.”
Healthy meals and a keynote address by Dr. Doreen M. Larson, president of Pierpont Community & Technical College, are also included.
“At the end of the day, women leave with their own healthy lifestyle plan, but just as importantly, being connected with resources in their community that can help them pursue that lifestyle plan.”
The information learned will be most beneficial to attendees – and to their families.
“I think most families want to live a healthier lifestyle,” Critch said. “They just don’t know how to do it anymore.”
Such events are held across the nation. North Central West Virginia is a good target, Critch said.
“(Our state) ranks about 35 in the world for overall health, which is horrific,” she said. “West Virginia hugs the bottom of the barrel in terms of overall health stats. We lead the nation in smoking and obesity – obesity contributing very strongly to most of our chronic diseases and most are preventable by incorporating lifestyle changes.”
Among locals involved with the planning are Lotus MacDowell, member of the statewide advisory board and Mary Ann Renzelli, who will be among movement presenters on Saturday.
The day concludes at about 5 p.m.
Register at http://www.wowicandoit.com/Reservations.aspx.
Registration is $50 for state residents and $75 for those residing out of state. Scholarships are available.
Directions to Heston Farm, a 220-acre winery and distillery along the banks of the Tygart River, Hollow Distillery: