The newly renovated Brighton Seventh-Day Adventist Church is offering a lifestyle medicine and community wellness center when it reopens.
"Our mission is to be a center of influence—a place where the community—and families—can find health, healing, and hope," said senior pastor Wayne Morrison.
Eric Aakko, Community Wellness Director for the church, said the program is developed by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine which is evidence-based. Its program focuses on six pillars: healthy eating, exercise, sleep, avoiding substance abuse, stress reduction, and social connections.
"What is unique about our approach is that at every session, we will also have a plant-based cooking and tasting demonstration, recipes, resources, and expert guest speakers, including a cardiologist, behavioral health specialists, nutritionists, and a certified plant-based chef," Aakko said.
Aakko said that public health data indicates people are more stressed and socially isolated. Some people suffer from depression and anxiety. Living a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a well-balanced diet reduces these mental and health problems.
"Each of the six pillars of lifestyle medicine will be featured once per month, with interactive activities between sessions to keep people engaged, such as using text messaging," Aakko said.
Also, the church is collaborating with Brighton Parks and Recreation to encourage people to spend time outside with nature walking the parks and trails.
"Research shows that when people spend reflective time in nature—even as little as 10 minutes each day—their blood pressure is reduced, anxiety and depression are lowered, and the immune system is strengthened," said Aakko.
The Lifestyle Medicine and Community Wellness seminars are one per month until the end of November and are open to the public, and are free. The first session begins on Saturday, March 25m from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Brighton Seventh Day Adventist Church at 567 Bromley Lane.
If interested in the program, the flyer with fact sheets about the six pillars of lifestyle medicine can be downloaded at www.lifestyle692.com