BALDWIN — Area residents were presented with a hands-on, fun approach to health awareness on Sunday during the health expo at the Baldwin High School gym.

Several organizations promoting health and well-being set up booths and stations at the event. Visitors had their blood pressure taken and had their weight and body mass measured. They were able to consult a doctor on site about health concerns. There were healthy snacks provided and exercise opportunities such as jumping on a trampoline, a back massage station and more.

Event organizer Tannya Scales, administrator of Healthy Living in Baldwin, was encouraged by the community support.

"This is our first organized event. We invited different groups in the community to give demonstrations and set up booths for this free expo," she said. "The theme of the expo centered around the eight laws of health which are taught at my church, the Idlewild Seventh Day Adventist Church. These laws are an acronym: NEWSTART, for nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest and trust.

The Lake County Community Health Council had a booth set up with information about lending kits for canning classes and offered samples of sprouts and growing instructions.

"We have broccoli, alfalfa, fenugreek, clover, radish and buckwheat sprouts," said Nancy Przedwojewski, member of the Lake County Food Council. "People can eat sprouts and have fresh greens throughout the year. You can eat them in sandwiches, salads and smoothies. They have a vast amount of energy which is used to break through the ground. You are ingesting all that energy."

Quran Griffin had handouts and information about the Talk Sooner program.

"The Talk Sooner program is a way to promote and encourage parents to talk to their children about the danger of alcohol, drugs and tobacco," she said. "We encourage families to have a meal together at least three or four times a week. It is a good time to learn more about what is going on in their child's life. If we educate kids more ahead of time, it can help prevent them from getting hooked on these substances later in life."

Heather Gren, a medical assistant for the Child Adolescent Health Center at Baldwin Community Schools, offered information about what is available at the center.

"We conduct exams, sports physicals and immunizations. We also deal with injuries, health concerns, sick visits, dental and referral to dentists," she said.

Julie Burke was promoting services offered by the Affordable Care Act to provide assistance for Medicaid.

"Through AFA, we offer the breast and cervical cancer navigating program which provides screenings through a special Medicaid program," she said. "If the cancer is diagnosed, patients have to get enrolled before the first treatment. We can make referrals. We want to promote timely and efficient screenings," she explained, adding the open enrollment period for Medicaid is shortened, ending on Dec. 15 this year.

The Baldwin Lions Club had vision screenings available to get pictures of children's eyes.

"If problems are detected, we refer the child to an eye specialist. A lot of times problems such as lazy eye can be corrected at a young age," said Larry Johnson, Lions Club member.

Charles Brooks, pastor of the Idlewild Seventh Day Adventist Church, had a table set up with Dr. Neil Goodman for spiritual and health support.

Isabee Demski consulted with Brooks and Goodman and was encouraged to give up lattes for a month.

"The doctor asked if I had any troubles, and I told him I have had a cough for a couple of years. He connected it to when I started drinking lattes and asked me to try going a month with no milk or cheese. Then the preacher sitting next to me said, 'We'll pray about that.' So now God heard the whole conversation and I have a full month without lattes ahead of me. They know how to get you to follow doctors order's in Baldwin," she said.

Demski said she is planning to substitute lattes with teas and coffee with almond milk.

Carol Brooks had a booth set up to discuss the importance of water.

"Drinking sufficient water helps reduce heart disease and fatigue, removes impurities and improves alertness," she explained. "It is good to sleep with a water bottle nearby to drink first thing when you wake up. People cleanse the outside of the body in the morning, but it is very important to wash the inside of our body with drinking water. Our body is in repair mode during sleep, and the toxins have to be flushed out. It is good to drink at least eight to 10 cups of water a day."

Joe Dukes talked about the importance of air, and demonstrated how blowing into a balloon exercises the lungs.

"Oxygen resores energy and vitalizes blood, relaxes the mind and helps clean the lungs," he said. "Take a balloon, blow into it 10 to 15 times a day. This works the muscles and increases lung capacity," he said.