Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Matters of the Heart"

My friend Dave and I spent today at a really interesting event at The Wellness Institute which is located at the Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg.

This is Heart and Stroke Month, and the Wellness Institute hosted a 5 hour event focused on heart healthy living.

We arrived with a lot of time for the nine am opening. The event had about 90 people attending and there was a little registration package with some information and my pack had a red heart and Stroke association Frisbee.

We started with a welcome followed by a stretch break. It was really a little crowded for that kind of stretching but everyone seemed to appreciate the exercise break.

We listened to the keynote speaker, Dr Lerner discuss the role of Atrial Fibrillation in heart disease. He shared the statistic that people with this form of heart rhythm are at a hugely increased risk of stroke and acknowledged that many doctors are not being aggressive enough in their care of such patients. His language was a little technical for the audience but he was interesting and he did show a fair bit of humor through his presentation. He was incredibly willing to answer questions and to clarify points.

There was a break with a healthy snack, blood pressure testing stations and educations information pamphlets followed by another session of mild exercising and a draw for door prizes.

We also attended a healthy baking session where Dave and I learned a lot of information about improving our baking. More important, we learned a lot about how cooking information can be shared in a public forum like that. I think we have a lot to share at upcoming Healthy Cooking sessions at The Stroke Recovery Association. The dietitian, Carolyn Somerville, gave a handout of information and recipes that will be incredibly useful for me. I am going to try out most of them and I will share some of the results on this blog.

The last session we did was about relaxation and reducing stress and improving blood pressure. She discussed the role of humor, deep breathing and she gave a brief introduction to a body scan approach to relaxation. As part of the humor section she had us listen to the following You Tube clip about Tim Horton's. It really had the whole group relaxed and laughing and receptive to what she had to share.

Dave and I thought it was a great experience and we definitely plan to attend next year's Matter of the Heart event.

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