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Women’s Health Expo focuses on prevention

One-day event in Pemberton focusses on nutrition, exercise, and stress breakers

By Cindy Filipenko

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then Sunday’s Women’s Health Expo is worth its weight in gold.

A project of the Pemberton Women’s Health Network, the event is co-sponsored by the Howe Sound Women’s Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health.

“The theme is prevention. It’s basically general health and wellness — getting people on track with services here. All of the people featured at the expo are local people,” explained Caprii Doucet, public health nurse and member of the Pemberton Women’s Health Network.

The concept of hosting a health expo emerged from the 2003 Sea to Sky Corridor Women’s Health survey. The afternoon’s programming came directly from that survey.

“They want to know how to make good healthy lifestyle choices like exercise programs, healthy nutrition, how to decrease their stress and in turn lower chances of getting diseases and conditions related to lifestyle,” said the health practitioner. “We’ve touched on all of that.”

Doucet points out that preventative measures can dramatically reduce the chances of cardio-vascular disease, various cancers, arthritis, diabetes and depression.

“Everything is related to the choices you make with exercise, nutrition and how you deal with stress,” she said.

The free event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26 at the Pemberton Valley Golf and Country Club. A variety of participatory classes will be offered starting at 1:20. Included in the afternoon’s schedule are classes in functional resistance band exercises, Pilates, akida, yoga, holistic nutrition, T’ai chi, myofacial ball rolling and belly dancing. As well, there will be ongoing Reiki and massage sessions.

The classes are open to everyone, with some, such as the functional resistance band exercises, geared more towards seniors.

“There are a lot of seniors here that are isolated, scattered throughout the Valley and Mt. Currie, there’s not a lot of programs focused towards them. We had a request from a senior to make sure we provided something they could get involved in. I was asked to bring in Shannon McMillan to come in and do something that was 50-plus friendly,” says Doucet. “All the programs are really friendly for everyone.”

For those less inclined towards a hands-on experience, there will be a variety of exhibits to take-in that outline health resources, both alternative and traditional, that are open to women residing in the north end of the Sea to Sky corridor. Those resources include physiotherapy, personal training and chiropractic care. As well, other aspects of community life that influence health, such as home support and childcare resources, will also be represented.

PWHN is already planning two events for the spring, including a workshop on menopause.