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European Health Cross in Bucharest

European Health Cross in Bucharest

(credit: C. Cozzi)

Almost 1,000 people participated.

May 08, 2018 | Bucharest, Romania. | C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews.

Organised at the end of the European Health Conference, the purpose of the Cross was to raise awareness about and promote the most recent medical discoveries related to lifestyle. Thus, participants, as well as the passersby, received brochures on the benefits of the Adventist lifestyle along with a creative reinterpretation of the New Start principles in the form of a game similar to Memory.

The direct goal consisted, of course, in promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle among the population of Bucharest, not only as a means of prevention, but also as a therapeutic method for treating various conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc.

“Physical activity really impacts our constitution. It has several beneficial effects on our bodies, our bones, our muscles, and our metabolism, and it is a great way to maintain good body weight and also to prevent depression, for instance,” explained Valérie Dufour, Health Ministries Director for the Inter-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventists.

The oldest runner was 86, while the youngest one was only a few months old, and he “ran” in the stroller, along with his parents. A special category was that of people with special needs.

The great number of people with special needs who participated in the Cross impressed everyone, not because of their disabilities but because of their will to succeed and their determination to overcome any obstacles and to participate in the Cross with hundreds of other runners. When one is in a wheelchair, when one has Down Syndrome, or when one does not see, this is an impressive performance and a powerful motivator for anyone.

A lady ran while wearing the vest of the “Rise and Walk” Association, and when she was asked about her reason for doing so, she answered: “I originally came to run for myself, but I was so moved by these extraordinary people who have so much strength and ambition that I’ve decided to run for them, and I want to thank them for that.”

The family race was another one of the attractions of the Cross. Little kids and older children, very athletic or less athletic parents; all ran enthusiastically for the much-desired medal. Next to them was the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, Pastor Stefan Tomoiaga, who came to support the cross, but also the concept behind it.

During the Health Conference in Bucharest, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Muntenia (the largest Romanian conference) also organized many other projects in Bucharest.

Among these activities was a preventive running project in high-schools in the Romanian capital. With the help of a pair of special glasses and some paths that would have been easy under normal circumstances, the adolescents have discovered radical changes in the perception of time, space, and their own body. The project provided the adolescents with an unprecedented way of experiencing the effects of alcohol and drug consumption, and fatigue.

Also, more than 2,000 children benefited from the Children’s Health Expo project, developed by Valérie Dufour. Thus, children discovered the benefits of health through images and games adapted for their age. They also experienced, in an attractive and constructive manner, the different principles of health including those related to physical activity and healthy eating habits.

The responses of the participants and of the schools’ representatives were positive, mainly because the projects were interesting and inviting, but they also held practical value.

The increasing use of legal and illegal drugs, as well as the increased incidence of child obesity, currently represent a problem among adolescents from developing countries and are creating more and more concerns among educational and medical professionals. They are observing the increasing number of children and adolescents affected by these phenomena and are seeking the help of NGOs, schools, and parents.

Following all these activities, the participants were invited to join a health club in order to exercise together and to learn more thought-provoking aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

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