Commit to Change: health week launched
The benefits of regular exercise to maintain good health were highlighted at the launch of Health Week yesterday.
Exercise sessions which included Zumba and cardio kick boxing were showcased at the launch event in Hamilton’s Union Square.
People were also encouraged to drink more water and got the chance to sample different flavours of fruit-infused water.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said Bermuda had to respond to an increased incidence of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Ms Wilson added: “The Ministry of Health remains committed to addressing these diseases and achieving better health outcomes for our entire community. However, we can only achieve real success in reducing the prevalence of these conditions with the help of each and every member of our community.”
Health week, held under the slogan “Commit to Change: small changes, big results”, was designed to encourage people to choose water over sugary sodas, eat more vegetables and to exercise every day.
Ms Wilson said: “These are small changes, but tangible steps that individuals can make to prevent non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.”
She added non-communicable diseases were the leading causes of death and were linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity and smoking.
Ms Wilson said mental health would also be a significant focus of the week as many people suffered from mental and neurological disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and dementia.
She pointed out that the World Health Organisation recognised that mental and neurological problems can be a precursor to or a consequence of non-communicable diseases.
Ms Wilson added: “We must emphasise a life and work balance that reduces the stress and promotes healthy options.”
She said that younger people should be targeted with the healthy lifestyle message. Ms Wilson added: “Positive lifestyle choices begin in our young people by encouraging them to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and pursue activities that promote healthy lives.”
Health Week activities continue today with a panel discussion on Mental Health in the Workplace, to be held at Bermuda Society of Arts from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
Virloy Lewin, the health promotion co-ordinator at the Ministry of Health, said the panel would include professionals who will speak about “how we can have better mental health in our workplace and ways to recognise issues and what you can do about it”.
A light lunch will be served.
A Farmer’s Market will be held at Hamilton City Hall tomorrow and will feature fresh produce and demonstrations on how to prepare vegetables.
Dr Lewin said: “We would like to urge as many people as possible to come out to our events. It’s all free and its healthy. Those small consistent changes can bring good results and a healthy lifestyle.
The health ministry will also have a booth to promote healthy lifestyles at the Agricultural Show on Thursday.
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