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Healthy lifestyle program

Sun Country Health Region is sponsoring a three-month Wellness Program in the New Year to help improve the quality of life for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, increased body weight, lung disease, abnormal cholesterol levels, arthritis, and osteoporosis.

The program, called First Step, targets people with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and others who would benefit from an active lifestyle.
"First Step is specifically for those who are at risk of a heart attack but have not yet experienced an event," says Marga Cugnet, Vice President of Primary and Integrated Health.

"Most people are aware that an active lifestyle can help prevent the development of many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and keep you healthy and independent later in life," she says.

"Yet many still do not regularly participate in physical activity. The First Step Program will help you make the changes necessary in order to develop healthy lifestyle habits," says Mrs. Cugnet.

The facts show that 75 per cent of adult Canadians have at least one of the four major modifiable risk factors for heart disease, that is high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, an inactive lifestyle, or use of tobacco.

At the same time, about five per cent of Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes, a major cause of heart disease and contributing to many other health concerns.

Close to 40 per cent of all Canadians are overweight, putting them at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health concerns.

"All of these factors can be modified through the adoption of healthy lifestyle changes," says Mrs. Cugnet.

The program will be held in St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan from February 2-April 25, 2009.

Program participants will be provided with two fitness assessments, one at the beginning and the other upon completion of the program. They also will be monitored throughout the three-month period.

The program focuses on education and exercise. A supervised exercise session consisting of walking, stretching and strengthening will be held three days/week for the three month period.

Eight education sessions conducted by health professionals will be held to provide information about healthy lifestyles.

Interested persons should contact their doctor for a referral. A $75 fee will be charged for the three-month program.

For more information, potential participants can call Therapy Services at St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan at 637-2410.

Media: For more information, please contact Marga Cugnet, Vice President, Primary and Integrated Health, 842-8729.

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