NEWS

Red River Ex features healthy fun

GO4health Expo offers interactive displays

Arlene Wilgosh and Dr. Sande Harlos at the launch of the Go4health EXpo at the Red River Ex.
Arlene Wilgosh and Dr. Sande Harlos at the launch of the Go4health EXpo at the Red River Ex.
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GO4health EXpo schedule

Red River Exhibition website

BY SUSIE STRACHAN
Winnipeg Health Region
Published Friday June 17, 2011

The head of the Winnipeg Health Region today helped kick off the 60th annual Red River Exhibition, also marking the official launch of Winnipeg's GO4health EXpo that will run throughout the ten days of the fair.

"The Ex is a staple in Winnipeggers' and Manitobans' summer time fun activities," said Arlene Wilgosh, President and CEO of the Winnipeg Health Region. "And the best way for everyone to fully enjoy themselves is by keeping themselves and others safe and by remaining active and healthy to get the most out of the Ex-perience. That's what this Expo is all about."

The Region is among 70 organizations - including agricultural producers, sport and fitness groups, seniors groups and health advocates - that will have a presence at the GO4health Expo, which is located inside the new Exhibition Place building at the fair.

Some will give healthy cooking demonstrations along with nutrition tips, others will lead physical activity, aquatic and water safety demonstrations, provide free samples of nicotine replacement therapy, and share with parents the importance of children running, jumping and playing. In partnership with Winnipeg in motion, experts plan to give away 600 bike helmets over the ten days the Expo is running.

Amy Tibbs, Winnipeg In Motion coordinator, Jan Schmalenberg, physical activity promotions with the Winnipeg Health Region and chair of Winnipeg In Motion, Arlene Wilgosh, President & CEO of the Winnipeg Health Region and Kristine Hayward, Winnipeg In Motion coordinator.

"We've tried to not only provide information on how to be healthy, but to have displays that interact with fair-goers," said Kristine Hayward, an in motion co-ordinator. "So when parents visit the play area, they can learn skills to play games with their children. The anti-smoking display will have spirometry tests measuring lung function. The healthy eating folks will have recipe planning and a chance to build your own healthy eating cook book."

Eight hundred volunteers will staff the displays, greet fair-goers and work in the children's play zone. There will be aquatic demonstrations in the Krevco lap pool, with Life Saving Society members demonstrating water safety, along with displays of aqua fitness. The physical activity stage will feature zumba, yoga and pole dancing, while the nutrition stage will have the healthy eating partners showing off recipes.

Visitors to the in motion tent will receive pedometers and can enter into the draw for a bicycle. June 26 - Family Day at the Ex - has been designated as smoke-free day, during which nicotine replacement therapy patches will be handed out to those interested in reducing their tobacco use.

The Red Cross will be distributing insect repellent wipes, and information on West Nile virus. And you haven't lived until you've gone through the wildest ride at the Ex; a giant pink inflatable colon complete with diseases, brought in by the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

Arlene Wilgosh and Dr. Sande Harlos share a laugh, while Jan Schmalenberg looks on, after the trio emerged from the giant colon on display at the Go4health EXpo.

"Connecting with family and friends, laughing, having fun at the Ex; these things are already good for your health" said Dr. Sande Harlos, Medical Officer of Health for the Winnipeg Health Region. "But adding a visit to GO4healthEXpo can help you take home simple, fun ways to be healthier all year long! Playing, being active together, cooking and eating healthy meals as a family; these kinds of things are essential for physical, mental and emotional health."

The GO4health EXpo is located in Exhibition Place, a new building near the main entrance to the Red River Exhibition, which runs from June 17 to 26.

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