Christiana Care hosted women from across New Castle County, Del., for an evening designed to inspire attendees to improve their health through exercise and smart nutrition choices.
Combining dance, fun and education, the first ever Dance Your Health Out event, held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, provided free Zumba instruction, healthy food preparation demonstrations and health screenings to more than 200 women.
Attendees took part in a 50-minute Zumba workout led by instructor Davi Mozie that had them dancing, clapping and moving to the music. Zumba combines Latin and international rhythms with a fun, aerobics-style workout. The group included women of all ages—from teenagers to a woman in her 90s—with varying movement abilities, including “newbies” and skilled dancers.
Christiana Care employee Cindy Noble was one of the more experienced dancers in attendance, having lost 47 pounds in the past year thanks to Zumba and an improved diet. She was impressed by the number of first-time dancers at Dance Your Health Out.
“Every time I would turn around just to see what was going on in the room, I was amazed at the volume of people who were there dancing and into it,” Noble said. “People kept coming onto the floor, and they weren’t intimidated.”
“I think the group was exceptionally energetic,” commented Mozie. “When we got started I really didn't think they would be able to last. We ended up going 10 minutes longer than we had planned because the group just didn't want to stop. It was great.”
Others took advantage of the free health screenings available throughout the evening. Staff from Christiana Care’s Imaging Services and Center for Heart & Vascular Health assessed attendees’ risk for bone and heart disease, while members of Christiana Care’s Department of Family & Community Medicine calculated body-mass index and provided body-fat analyses.
Following Zumba, Jenn Barr, with Christiana Care’s Center for Community Health, conducted a healthy-cooking demonstration. Attendees sampled low-calorie dinner options provided by caterer Food for Thought and learned about the importance of nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
A post-event survey of attendees offered insight about the effectiveness of the inaugural event. More than 97 percent of respondents said they were motivated to eat healthier and increase their physical activity.
The event was a collaboration of several departments within Christiana Care, including: Women’s Health Services; the Center for Heart & Vascular Health; Family & Community Medicine, Center for Community Health; Food and Nutrition Services; Imaging Services; Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute’s Food & Nutrition Services; Employee Health; and Volunteer Services.