YCC Rewind 1x


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S tudies have shown that a combination of diet, nutri- tion and physical activity is optimal for those working towards healthier lifestyles. The Odawa Friendship Centre in Ottawa, Ontario has taken a multi-step approach to help their members make healthier nutrition choices and be physically active. The centre offers a Healthy Eating, Active Living program and a Fitness Challenge that go hand-in-hand to help promote a healthier lifestyle by building strong nutrition and exercise regimes. The centre's Healthy Eating, Active Living (H.E.A.L.) program is 12 weeks long and focuses on teaching participants ways they can make healthier lifestyle choices when it comes to nutrition. The program consists of a variety of seminars that contain information about healthy nutrition, support networks, and tips for making healthier nutrition choices. In the past, speakers have travelled to the centre to speak about different kinds of diets, grocery shopping tips, diabetes management, and more. One invited speaker from Toronto, Ontario spoke about Paleo and Ancestral diets and contrasted today's foods with what our ancestors consumed. Urban Aboriginal Healthy Active Living Program Interim Co-ordinator, Julie Davignon, has witnessed the effectiveness of the program. She reported that one member who has diabetes "...has reduced his medication to almost nothing in a matter of three month's time." The seminars give participants the opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed by nutritionists, nurses, and other health professionals. The 12-week long Fitness Challenge promotes physical activity amongst participants and compliments the H.E.A.L. program. The goal of the Fitness Challenge is to encourage participants to lose body fat, gain muscle and/or lose weight overall. At the beginning of the 12-week long challenge, participants record their body weight, muscle mass, and body fat percentage. Participants have the opportunity to use the centres weight room or participate in the wide variety of fitness programs the centre has to offer. During the 12-weeks, the H.E.A.L program provides seminars on nutrition for the participants. At the end of the 12-weeks, weight, muscle mass, and body fat percentage are recorded and those who were the most successful are rewarded with a cash prize. Research has shown that a combination of both diet and exercise is most effective for those trying to lose weight and improve their physical physique. The Odawa Friendship's Centre H.E.A.L and Fitness Challenge are two complimentary programs that have been extremely effective at helping their members achieve healthier lifestyles. Anyone of any size, shape, age, or gender can enjoy the benefits of eating healthy and being physically active and reduce their risk of developing a multitude of short-term and chronic illness. One's quality of life can drastically improve if they develop strong fitness and healthy nutrition regimes. HEALTHY EATING, ACTIVE LIVING AT THE ODAWA FRIENDSHIP CENTRE Submitted by Julie Davignon, Urban Aboriginal Healthy Active Living Program Interim Co-ordinator "Some participants have completely changed their lifestyle to accommodate to healthier eating, and as a result, have had tremendous progress." 14

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