By Curt Yeomans
Some women might prefer a nice, long, nature walk to "get their fitness on."
Others might settle for a relaxing massage. Still, others may want to get up, and in the immortal words of the disco band, Chic: "Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance," and then, "Keep on dancing."
As it turns out, the Clayton State University Center for Continuing Education is going to give women a chance to do all of the above later this month. The center will celebrate National Women's Health & Fitness Day on Wednesday, Sept. 29, with a variety of free events that will run from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education, which is on Clayton State's main campus in Morrow.
The event will be free for members of the public, according to Chris Harvey, Clayton State's assistant director of continuing education. "We felt it was a great opportunity to promote the classes we offer, and to bring attention to the importance of women living a healthy lifestyle," Harvey said. "They are a large part of our class participants."
Some of the activities included in the fitness day, are: a three-quarters-of-a-mile nature walk around the university's Swan Lake; health and fitness lectures; massages; a "Zumba" (cardiovascular exercise through dancing to Latin and African beats); a bellydancing class; and a "Chicago-style Steppin'" class, according to University Spokesman John Shiffert.
Harvey said the Center for Continuing Education recently started offering health and fitness classes again, after a break of a few years. "We used to offer it before, and now we're just bringing it back," he said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on its web site, reports that one-quarter of all women who died in 2006 (the most recent year for which data is available) died because of heart disease.
The CDC reports that heart disease was the leading cause of death of women that year, followed by cancer (22 percent of deaths), stroke (6.7 percent), chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.3 percent), Alzheimer's disease (4.2 percent), unintentional injuries (3.5 percent), diabetes (3 percent), influenza and pneumonia (2.5 percent), kidney disease (1.9 percent), and septicemia (1.5 percent).
According to the National Women's Health & Fitness Day web site -- www.fitnessday.com/women/ -- the day is a grassroots effort, organized by the Health Information Resource Center. It is observed to "encourage women to take control of their health," according to the web site. It is a "sister" event to the National Senior Health & Fitness Day event, which is held in May.
The theme for this year's National Women's Health & Fitness Day, is "Activity is a habit you can live with!" according to the event's web site. The Health Information Resource Center, on the event's web site, estimates that more than 1,400 groups across the country will stage National Women's Health & Fitness Day events on Sept. 29.
Anyone interested in participating in the event at Clayton State, can pre-register for it on the continuing education web site, http://conted.clayton.edu/default.htm, and search for course code 112CDSF001. For more information on the event at Clayton State, call (678) 466-5050.