Fair emphasizes need for healthy living

Two years ago, Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff had a life-changing moment when he participated in a promotional event for the South Okanagan Healthy Living Fair, having his waistline measured and blood pressure taken.

Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day gets his blood pressure taken by nurse Tammy Reid as Mayor Dan Ashton and Dr. Gerry Karr look on

Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day gets his blood pressure taken by nurse Tammy Reid as Mayor Dan Ashton and Dr. Gerry Karr look on

Two years ago, Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff had a life-changing moment when he participated in a promotional event for the South Okanagan Healthy Living Fair, having his waistline measured and blood pressure taken.

Dr. Gerry Karr, co-founder of the health fair, said seeing the blood pressure readings taken in the office was a “moment of truth” for Barisoff, inspiring him to take further steps, starting with signing up for the Hearts at Work screening program offered as part of the fair.

“We did it in the office and from that I went down to the health fair and realized that this is a step that you have to take now,” said Barisoff. 

While doing blood pressure readings in public under stressful conditions in not ideal to getting a reliable reading, Barisoff’s has dropped considerably since he first participated in the event, thanks to lifestyle changes and medical attention.

“This is not for elite athletes, for people who are already high achievers,” said Karr. “It’s not to expect perfection, it’s to help everybody, no matter what stage of life and what level of health they are at.”

When the Healthy Living Fair got started as a centennial project back in 2008, Karr wasn’t sure how long the event would continue.

“We’re overjoyed to see the ongoing public enthusiasm for this event,” he said. “It just goes to show that the interest in healthy living — not just prevention, but living a healthy lifestyle — is intense and widespread. Lots and lots of people, many of whom enjoy good health, want to know how to preserve that good health and continue living a healthy lifestyle.”

Checking blood pressure or measuring waist circumference is just one of several tests that can be done to help people identify their modifiable risk factors, the focus of the Hearts at Work screening program, which takes 300 pre-registered participants through a series of testing and goal-setting stations.

“You can’t do anything about your family history, but you can do something about cholesterol, about your weight in relation to your height, about your blood pressure,” said Karr. 

The goal, he continued, is to help the participants understand what their risk profile is, and then help them through the stations to identify SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive) goals so they can develop a plan they will keep.

“Too often, we bite off more than we can chew when we try to improve, and we suffer. We run too fast, too far and we’re exhausted. We just don’t want to continue doing that,” said Karr. “Part of this is helping people to slowly, gradually work their way into a healthier lifestyle.”

The screening program is just one part of the two-day fair, which gets underway at 3 p.m. Friday with a three-kilometre walk starting at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, then a forum with keynote speaker Leslie Beck, a nationally recognized nutrition expert.

“She is probably one of Canada’s top leading experts on nutrition,” said fair organizer Crystal Froese. “She has about a dozen books out on the subject. We’re lucky that she was available to do this for us.”

While there are only 300 slots in the Hearts at Work screening, which takes place on Saturday, the fair also includes a public showcase section featuring more than 70 exhibitors that offer goods and services to help with healthy living.

“There is going to be a big section this year on healthy eating, healthy nutrition,” said Karr. 

“It’s going to be a separate portion that is going to offer a whole bunch of practical stuff for people to adapt and develop and improve their habits with regard to nutrition in a way that they can still get enjoyment out of it. If you can’t change your eating habits in a way that you enjoy and get satisfaction out of, it won’t work.”

 

 

Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read