For most college students, health ranks near the bottom of their list of priorities, often forgotten amid the shuffle of school, work and a social life.
Starting today, however, an entire convention will offer advice and products to bump a healthy lifestyle into the forefront of Knoxvillian consciousness.
The Healthy Living Expo runs today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center. Suzanne Fogleman, a saleswoman for the convention, explained the ins and outs of the weekend's event.
"It's a consumer healthy lifestyle show, and we focus on health, fitness, nutrition and living green," Fogleman said. "Hundreds of exhibitors are all going to be showing new innovative products. We will also have cooking demonstrations and fitness demonstrations. Dance companies, a Zumba company ... there'll be stuff going on all day.
"It's all about finding opportunities to become healthy," she added.
The quest for those opportunities drives many students to the gym, especially during the weeks after New Year's Eve and the subsequent resolutions. But Linsey Radford, a senior in nutrition and employee at TRECS, cautioned against rushing into fitness.
"I think that a lot of times people just don't quite know the facts behind what they do," Radford said. "I've heard a lot of students in nutrition say certain things they've just heard 'through the grapevine.' They could definitely use some knowledge."
The Healthy Living Expo hopes to provide that knowledge, featuring two special guest speakers. Today, Dr. Robert Overholt from the "Dr. Bob Show" will discuss health and wellness advice at 11 a.m.
Immediately after Dr. Bob, the Get Active Stage will feature Missy Kane, star of "Fit & Fun with Missy Kane." After running middle distance cross country at UT, Kane went on to compete in the Olympics and later returned to coach her former team. The Knoxville Sports Hall of Famer will lead participants in a free fitness demonstration.
In order to increase attendance, Fogleman said they are offering incentives.
"We have literally got dozens and dozens of prizes," she said, listing everything from gym memberships to tote bags to exercise equipment.
Though only a few attendees will receive prizes, everyone will have a chance to take advantage of the free and reduced price services that many vendors will offer. Flu shots and vitamin B12 shots will be available for reduced prices, and general health checks like body mass index calculation and bone density checks will be provided as well.
Radford, who admitted a lifelong interest in fitness, understands that for some people, health is not a priority.
"Some people definitely have that drive, I mean that's why the gym is packed right now. Some people though ... I think sleep and other things occupy their time more than fitness," she said.
For those who hit the gym regularly or those who only wish they did, the Healthy Living Expo will open its doors and wealth of knowledge. Tickets are $10 at the door, but free tickets can be printed out from thehealthylivingexpo.com.