Diabetes Wellness Conference promotes physical activities and healthy eating habits

Natalie Hastings and Bonnie Akiwenzie lead workshop participants in a Drum Fit workout.

LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Diabetes Health Network hosted its annual Diabetes Wellness Conference earlier this month at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre in Little Current.

“This year’s theme was about having fun and getting active,” explained Eleanor Debassige, a member of the Manitoulin Diabetes Health Network. “We had 79 participants that signed in, but our numbers were closer to 100 including the vendors (from various local health organizations).”

The Manitoulin Diabetes Health Network includes partners from Wiikwemkoong, M’Chigeeng, Little Current, Mnaamodzawin Heath Centre, Noojmowin Teg Health Centre and the Sudbury and District Health Unit. The annual Diabetes Wellness Conference was started in 2000.

Julie Morris guides participants in a gentle yoga class.

This year’s conference kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Boji Vargehese, an endocrinologist at Health Sciences North, followed by a guided gentle yoga workshop with Julie Morris.

There were also presentations on mindfulness, physical activity and cognition with physiotherapist Katlyn Glena, a drum fit class with Natalie Hastings and Bonnie Akiwenzie, and cooking demonstrations.

“It was a really successful event,” said Ms. Debassige of the conference. “We had great numbers and a good response from the participants—its was our best one yet.”

November is Diabetes Awareness Month with events occurring across Canada.

Health care professionalsf Natalie Hastings and Mickey Thompson whip up a healthy treat during the cooking demonstrations.

“With a staggering one in three Canadians already living with diabetes or prediabetes, including an estimated 1.5 million with undiagnosed diabetes, we must take action now to stop the growth and impact of this disease,” said Rick Blickstead, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association in a press release. “Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day are times to shine a spotlight on diabetes, educate Canadians about the disease, and help all of us find out our level of risk for type 2 diabetes so we can take action.”