The annual Heart and Stroke fundraising campaign takes place in most communities throughout February. For a number of years I was one of the volunteers in Terrace and here in Quesnel who went door to door canvassing It was reassuring that many contributed to us so readily or through work toward this charity. Many had friends or family members affected by heart problems. A number of volunteers are involved in a variety of programs such as Jump Start. Money raised goes toward research and operating expenses.
Studies show that midlife fitness levels are linked to good health in old age. In studies they warn those over weight should cut down on belly fat every day by choosing to eat properly, and warn that taking antidepressants and painkillers could raise the risk of a stroke. A study in New Zealand links marijuana smoking to a stroke. Other studies give information about heart health and cholesterol – a primary building block that provides a good, solid foundation. A healthy lifestyle is emphasized.
Indoor soccer field
This winter Quesnel Youth Soccer Association is proud to once again offer at no charge the use of their indoor walking track to seniors. The Senior’s Walk is made possible through a grant provided by the City of Quesnel. This year people on disability are included in this grant. Last winter upwards of 95 seniors made use of the track on a daily basis with a total of 5,453 recorded drop-ins from Oct. 2015 – April 2016.
One of the leading causes of injury related deaths and hospitalization in Northern B.C. is falls. Northern Health has the highest rate of hospitalization involving falls of all the health authorities in the province. Seniors are at increased risk of fall related injuries. Environmental hazards are one of the main causes of falls. By providing an indoor affordable area for seniors to walk or run they can continue to enjoy an active healthy and social lifestyle throughout the long winter months.
QYSA promotes decreased sedentary behaviour and increased physical activity. Any form of regular physical activity is important. More daily physical activity provides greater health benefits. Those with poor mobility should perform physical activities to enhance balance and prevent falls. A graduated approach allows individuals to assess and realize progression and provides encouragement to continue with healthy lifestyle behaviour changes. The overall process encourages increasing physical activity duration or intensity over time.
Here there is an environment for all activity levels. There are several rest areas around the 1/4 kilometer track to encourage seniors to walk a little further each time as they are able to rest along the way. You may use walkers and canes on the track. “Passports” are provided to seniors to keep track of progress and see improvement after each visit.
Seniors 60+ and people on disability walk for free from October 2016 until April 2017. Drop in passes from as low as $1.29 visit are available for everyone else. The facility remains open year round for walking and seniors can purchase passes for May – Sept. Proof of age or disability papers will need to be shown to participate in the free walking program.The QYSA is a non profit organization that has been part of Quesnel since 1978. The indoor facility which is B.C.’s largest free span indoor turf, opened in 2006, allowing Quesnel’s youth and residents the opportunity to play soccer year round. I am proud to be among many others on the fund-raising committee for this splendid facility.
Ruth Scoullar is a seniors’ advocate and regular Observer contributor.