YaraCentre pushes Get Healthy

Nathan Liewicki
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The lineup to take pictures with Body Break’s Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod was lengthy, but that didn’t bother Wendy Gregson.

Hundreds of people came out to YaraCentre on Saturday to take part in the array of activities put on for the first annual Let's Get Healthy Moose Jaw event. The people pictured look on as Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of Body Break gave the keynote address.

The lineup to take pictures with Body Break’s Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod was lengthy, but that didn’t bother Val Gregson.

She came from Medicine Hat just to see the duo with the “Keep Fit and Have Fun” motto.

“I’m not sure it’s fair to call me a fan girl, but I really look up to Hal and Joanne for the messages they’ve passed along all these years,” said Gregson.

In her early 20s, the now 44-year-said she was overweight and had high cholesterol. She frequently saw Johnson and McLeod on television and decided to get fit.

Over 20 years of keeping active and eating healthy now has Gregson in what she described as the best shape of her life. And she said she owes it all to Body Break.

“I’d never met them until today, but it was their guiding force that led me to being the healthy person I am now,” she said.

Gregson was one of hundreds of people who visited the YaraCentre on Saturday to check out Let’s Get Healthy Moose Jaw 2014. It was the inaugural event, but the goal is to have the event become an annual occurrence.

In addition to the 60-minute keynote address with Johnson and McLeod, which included their feature Body Break music and a warm-up everyone in the audience participated in, there were a plethora of other activities. They included yoga, zumba, tai chi, a health fair and an area dedicated to children’s activities.

“It was great seeing everybody out having such a great time with all of the activities, but the kids section is always great and seeing them come out and play and running all over the turf,” said Heather McLaughlin, a YaraCentre customer service representative.

McLaughlin added there was no goal in mind for the number of people the YaraCentre hoped would attend Let’s Get Healthy, but the turnout was pleasing.

“Everybody seemed to love it – the expo itself,” she said. “I think it's great to see everybody out trying to be healthy for the new year.”

Although Johnson and McLeod’s keynote address headlined the event, the goal was to promote active living and eating among Moose Javians.

Men with waistlines more than 40 inches are at a greater risk for contracting cancers, heart disease and other illnesses. The same goes for women whose waistlines are beyond 35 inches.

Moreover, men who have at least 25 per cent body fat and women who have at least 30 per cent body fat are more likely to bring on greater health risks.

MLA Greg Lawrence noted that while it is sometimes difficult to accomplish goals to improve one’s health, it can be accomplished. He hopes to lose a few pounds himself in coming months.

“Moose Jaw is home to affordable, accessible and state of the art recreational facilities that offer us an opportunity to keep active all year round,” said Lawrence. “There are also endless recreational opportunities that allow us to keep fit and have fun.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

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