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Older women urged to be active

“Lead the Way!”—a workshop to encourage women aged 55-70 to be more physically active—will be held Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre.

Taking place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Shaw Community Hub Room, the Northwestern Health Unit and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is inviting women to a fun three-hour workshop to discuss physical activity challenges and opportunities.

“This project is part of national project to increase physical activity among women 55-70 years,” local health promoter Becky Holden said in an interview Friday.

“In the past year, workshops were hosted to educate stakeholders about the need to address women 55-70 in physical activity programming,” she noted.

“And this year, the project has sustained funding to offer workshops to engage women 55-70 to ‘lead the way’ and create opportunities in their community to be more physically active.

“This interactive workshop will educate women on the importance of physical activity, provide the opportunity to build leadership skills, and the opportunity to work on developing a physical activity initiative within the community,” Holden added.

She also said some funding will be available to support the initiatives the women develop and implement.

The event is free, and a light dinner will be provided.

To participate, contact Holden at bholden@nwhu.on.ca or 274-9827. The deadline to register is this Friday (Feb. 18).

This workshop is one of 13 taking place across Ontario over the next three months funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport through the Healthy Communities Fund.

A “Lead the Way!” workshop also will be happening in Sioux Narrows on Feb. 23.

To register, contact Holly Kropelin at 1-807-226-9626.

Holden provided a few statistics related to physical activity and older women, referenced from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (2008):

•Physical activity rates are lower among females than males across the lifespan (a total of 58.1 percent of women age 55-64 are physically inactive);

•In 2003, the estimated cost of physical inactivity was placed at $5.3 billion (including direct and in-direct costs);

•Participation in physical activity decreases with age; and

•Health is an issue for women between 55-70 years of age (91 percent of women aged 65-74 are affected by a chronic health conditions, with arthritis/rheumatism being the most reported condition).

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