Move toward healthier lifestyle

Central Albertans looking to build a healthier lifestyle are encouraged to check out the spring schedule

Central Albertans looking to build a healthier lifestyle are encouraged to check out the spring schedule of Alberta Healthy Living Program workshops.

More than 140 free sessions, presented by Alberta Health Services (AHS), will cover a variety of health topics, including heart health, weight management, nutrition, diabetes care and chronic illness management.

“Often we find that people want to make lifestyle changes but they just don’t know where to start. These sessions can help give people some direction and motivation,” says Maureen Mailer, program manager for the central zone of AHS. “Our facilitators are dedicated to providing a positive, comfortable environment for our participants to learn and share their experiences.”

The sessions are led by AHS professionals who share their expertise in group discussions and provide support and encouragement to participants.

“It’s a great way for people to access information and support so that they can make well-informed, lasting changes for the good of their health,” Mailer says.

Aleah Lacey says her life has been transformed since participating in the program.

The 43-year-old Red Deer woman says the stress management techniques and active living advice she received while attending Better Choices Better Health, a chronic disease self-management workshop, have played a positive role in sparking a new sense of optimism as she builds a healthier lifestyle.

“It turned out to be an awesome experience for me. It was eye-opening, the support and the information that they provided,” says Lacey. “The facilitators made it a wonderfulexperience. Their kindness and understanding made a big difference, and they present the information in a positive, engaging manner.”

Lacey also participated in other Alberta Healthy Living Program workshops, such as Diabetes the Basics, and Weight Wise, which helped her address other aspects of her health.

“I’ve quit smoking, I’ve lost more than 40 pounds, and I am much more active now. I feel so much more empowered and in control of my health,” she says.

Program workshops in central zone include:

• Better Choices, Better Health (six sessions) – Gain confidence and develop skills to overcome the physical and emotional challenges of living with long-term health conditions.

• Craving Change (three sessions) – Develop an improved relationship with food, and identify problematic eating triggers.

• Diabetes the Basics (one session) – Learn how to manage Type 2 diabetes, or pre-diabetes, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

• Heart Wise (one session) – Build a heart healthy lifestyle with information on healthy eating, exercise and more.

• Weight Wise (10 individual sessions) – Learn effective weight management strategies with information and tools related to physical activity, nutrition, stress management and goal setting. Each session is independent from one another, allowing participants to choose the specific information topics that they would like to access.

• Supervised Exercise (eight-week program) – Learn how to exercise safely while living with a chronic condition. This program involves an exercise assessment and eight weeks of exercise sessions.

For more information, or to access the full schedule of upcoming sessions for April to June, visit http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/ev/ne-ev-cdm-calendar-2013.pdf.

To register for a session, call 1-877-314-6997.

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