Healthy living workshop focuses on eating

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012
HEALS
Sarah Argyle

HAPPY DAYS: HEALS participants, from back left: Louis and Betsie Viviers and from front left: Helen Parkinson and Maria Strydom stretch their limbs out to a healthier way of living.

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A group of adults is fist pumping, walking, portion checking and menu planning its way to healthy lives.

Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles (HEALS) is a six-week workshop held in Howick where people are given the chance to change their ways.

Co-ordinator and programme mastermind Parvin Kapila says it will help combat the growing incidence of type-2 diabetes.

"If people can lose a little bit of weight it can help prevent type-2 diabetes and reduce the pressure on the heart," she says.

"HEALS is a prevention programme as well as helping those who have long-term conditions."

Type-2 diabetes can be prevented through increasing physical activity, increasing fruit and vegetable intake and having better mental health, Ms Kapila says.

The sessions are run by East Health Trust.

They help people with their diets and teach them how to eat on a low budget, exercise regularly, read food labels and take steps that will lead them to a healthier and happy way of life.

The two-hour weekly module finishes with a different physical activity each week such as chair exercises or t'ai chi.

"I felt the need for a group in the community to get people out of their houses to socialise, mix and become more active."

Ms Kapila says it is really rewarding seeing people make positive changes.

"One of the reasons why the classes are so successful is due to the way participants set achievable goals that are specific to them as individuals."

Colin Smith has been taking part since August.

He has lost 5kg and is feeling a lot better.

"I'm doing more exercise, watching my food portions and planning my menus," he says.

Maria Strydom has been attending HEALS for five weeks and has lost 3kg.

"I feel motivated. It's brought me a great deal of awareness with food choices for healthy living."

The course runs from 9.30am to 11.30am on Mondays with the first of the next six sessions beginning on February 19.

The cost is $2 a session.

Contact Parvin on 538 0599 or email parvink@east health.co.nz to register.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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