CRYSTAL LAKE – When Lori Decker stepped on a balance testing machine Thursday to determine her risk for falling, it was a step toward getting a clearer picture of her overall health.
The balance test was one of dozens of health exhibits at the eighth annual Centegra Health Strong Woman Event, a program designed to give health information across a variety of topics to McHenry County women.
"Everybody should be aware of all their health issues," said Decker, a 49-year-old Algonquin resident. "You have to stay up with the latest technology, what they have to offer, the new services available. And you get that here."
More than 500 women filed through the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn doors for the event, which featured physician presentations on metabolic syndrome, back pain, and building better brain health.
"Today is all about the wellness of the women of McHenry County and the surrounding area," said Kelly Hazenfield, director of marketing for Centegra Hospital. "It's all about ensuring that women are staying well, that they know their options, and supporting them in being healthy."
The event was open to all ages.
"We see a broad range of women," Hazenfield said. "It's more the baby boomer demographic. That's the time of your life where you're typically more concerned about your health. But I've talked to people about babies. I've talked to people about physician appointments. … It's so important in this day and age to be aware of the things you need to do to be healthy."
The keynote speaker, Dr. Cynthia Green, gave steps to improving memory health and cognitive fitness.
"Being physically healthy, being physically active, maintaining a good weight and a good diet, that supports your heart health and your brain health," Green said. "Being intellectually engaged, pursuing actives that keep us challenged over our lifetime … is what this event is about."
Green said women of all ages can benefit from health events.
"Brain health matters at every age," she said. "There's evidence that even in utero there are things that happen that affect our long-term brain health."
Decker, who was attending her fifth Centegra Health Strong Woman Event on Thursday, said she learns something new every year.
"I think you should always be a student, and always learn," she said. "There's always something new to improve your health."