By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
Under the theme “I Want to Live Healthy”, members of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will host a Majority Rule Day fun/run/walk this week,
Bahamians are encouraged kick off the holiday this Thursday in a healthy fashion. The non-competitive 5k race will begin at 6am, leaving from the Arawak Cay grounds, travelling onto to West Bay Street, and back to Arawak Cay.
Walkers will be given the option to turn around at Go Slow Bend, at the two mile mark, or at Goodman’s Bay. Runners will turn around at the second entrance of the Baha Mar resort at the 6.2 mile mark. At the conclusion of the marathon, health assessments will be available for those wishing to have one done.
Assessments will include a health/age analysis tool kit – used to determine a person’s physical age based on their lifestyle choices. Organisers said some of the questions from the tool kit that will be used are: How much sleep do you get? What’s your height and weight? How much water do you drink? Do you eat breakfast? Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? Do you eat in between meals? Based on the results, educators will make recommendations to the individuals.
“ ‘I Want to Live Healthy’ fun/run/walk started about two years ago. However, this year is it being done at a higher level and we are inviting the community to be a part of it,” said Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministry Director at the South Bahamas Conference of SDA.
Ms LaCroix said the event is part of a territory-wide initiative ran by the Inter-American Division (IAD) Health Ministries Department called “Let’s Move to Live”, where churches organise an exercise programme for the membership, and invite the community to promote health. Quoting Belkis Archbold, Health Director of Inter-American Division (IAD), Ms LaCroix said”inactivity is invading people’s homes, churches and schools – and this is increasing the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many more non-communicable diseases, so there is a red alert for church members to get moving for their life.”
The ‘I Want to Live Healthy’ plan promotes eight healthy habits such as drinking purified water, fostering a positive attitude, consuming fruits and vegetables, rest, no junk food, eating more breakfast and less dinner, and being happy. This tool is offered under the plan and can be e-mailed to whomever would like to have it, free of charge.
“For the past four years I have been serving as the health director of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. One of my major duties is the management and training of 44 health leaders in the churches throughout the southern Bahamas. And they in turn train and empower members in the churches and the wider community where they are located. Also to heighten public health awareness is another duty that is of high priority. Hence, we work closely with Ministry of Health, more specifically with Bahamas Healthy Coalition,” said Ms LaCroix.
“The most important objective of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Health Ministry is to help people reach optimal health, mentally, physically, and most importantly spiritually. In order to do this, certain health principles must be practiced,” said Ms LaCroix.
She believes the more people are empowered to practice these principles, the healthier they will be to do great exploits for the Lord.
Listing a number of health benefits of the initiative, Ms LaCroix said it can help with weight loss issues, increase energy levels, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, assist in skin health, relaxation, sleep quality, brain health, and much more.
“Right now in the Bahamas we have a serious challenge with non-communicable diseases NCDs. The population is 75 percent overweight, which is the biggest risk factor for all diseases. Sadly, children are among this stately statistics. So why not come out, join in the fun, meet some persons who are health focused, and jump start your journey to wellness,” said Ms LaCroix.
For more information on the “I Want to Live Healthy” initiative, visit the Wholistic Lifestyle Centre on West Avenue; e-mail Lifestylecounsellor64@gmail.com, call 323-0610 or WhatsApp 826-8486.
“We are looking forward to persons coming out and being a part of this event. ‘Let’s get moving’ because it has so many benefits. We are inviting cooperate houses, churches, schools and persons from the private sector and government to come and be a part. It is a great way to jump-start your lifestyle change. Your body will love you for it. One tip, especially for first-timers of such an event, is you want to pace yourself. Also walk or run your race. In other words, do your pace, you just want to finish,” said Ms LaCroix.