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4-week information series teaches adults how to lower their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke

SIMCOE, May 7, 2014 – A series of educational classes aimed at preventing stroke, heart disease and diabetes is being offered by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

According to Public Health Agency of Canada, three out of five Canadians aged 20 and older live with a chronic disease and four out of five people are at risk.  Unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking and alcohol use are the leading causes of chronic diseases.

“People used to only worry about diabetes, stroke or heart disease if they had a family history,” notes Agnes Zabinska, Public Health Nurse with the health unit. “Nowadays, we know that these diseases are linked by the same causes or risk factors. The good news is that 80 per cent of the time, these risk factors are within the power of most individuals to change.”

The ‘Step Up to a Healthier You’ program is a month-long series, comprised of four sessions focusing on various topics and skills adults can use to improve their health. Classes begin Thursday, June 5th and will continue every Thursday for the rest of the month. Each class runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, located at 85 Lot Street in Simcoe.

The program is designed to not only help participants understand the risk factors that lead up to stroke, heart disease and diabetes, but also how to manage their health and take practical steps to control these diseases. Various health professionals will be teaching sections of the classes, including a registered dietitian, nurse, pharmacist, and others. A variety of interactive, hands-on lessons will be used to provide participants with practical information about topics such as healthy eating, how to read and understand food labels, stress management, goal setting, as well as activities that can keep them physically active throughout their life. 

“The healthy or unhealthy choices you make today, along with the way you handle the early signs and symptoms of diseases, can mean a difference between enjoying your retirement or spending your time in and out of hospitals,” noted Zabinska.

There is a $20 registration fee for the program, but subsidies are available for those who qualify. Space is limited.  To register for the course, or for more information, contact Dana Reynolds at extension 3265 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623. 

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Media contact:
Agnes Zabinska – Public Health Nurse
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3201

[email protected]