Barbadians are being encouraged to gear up for a day of fun, physical activity and health education at the Caribbean Wellness Fair on Saturday, September 10.

This year’s event will be held at Ilaro Court in St. Michael, under the theme "Love the Body, Move that Body, Treat Your Body Right" from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Persons will be able to participate in health screening, line dancing, and aerobic exercise. They will also have the opportunity to sample or purchase healthy foods.

Persons living with Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity are advised to consult their doctor before taking up an exercise regime.?? Attendees should remember to drink enough fluids to stay well hydrated and to go at their own pace, taking short breaks when necessary. ??The National Task Force on Physical Activity and Exercise has encouraged all Barbadians to come and experience the activities and individuals with chronic diseases are encouraged to observe the following precautions when taking part in the day’s activities.

Those with diabetes should consider the following when exercising:

  • Carry a high carbohydrate snack for use in case of low blood sugar episodes.
  • If you become out of breath decrease your pace/intensity or stop to recover and then restart at low intensity.
  • Sweating profusely may not be avoided considering the climate temperature, however, persons are advised to stay hydrated; drink water before during and after the exercise session; wear loose clothing and exercise in the shade, whenever possible.
  • Light headedness, black halos around objects, blurred vision, darkening vision or seeing ???sparks’ can be a sign of a hypoglycemic/low blood sugar reaction and that blood glucose levels should be checked immediately.
  • Find a friend or relative to exercise with. A partner can help maintain focus.
  • Pain in the lower extremities can be a sign of poor circulation. The instance should be discussed with your health care professional at the earliest possible opportunity.

For persons with hypertension (high blood pressure) consider the following when exercising:

  • Ensure that any exercise is in addition to a good pace and balanced rest.
  • Try not to exercise in extreme temperatures as this can be a disturbance to the circulation, make breathing difficult and be the cause of chest pain.
  • It is important to stay hydrated, especially if outside is particularly hot. Drink water before you have the opportunity to be thirsty. Keep in mind your medical practitioner’s advice on how much liquid can be consumed daily.
  • Opt for exercising away from hilly areas.

General Guidelines for Physical Activity

Persons who are free of chronic diseases also need to be mindful. ??The following tips can improve your exercising.

  • It is important to wear appropriate clothing when exercising. A good pair of shoes is crucial; proper foot support can help prevent painful injuries. Proper attire can also maintain comfort levels.
  • Spend time warming up. A good warm-up helps prepare the body for intensive exercise by increasing the blood flow, breathing rate and muscle temperature.
  • Always remember to stretch – muscles naturally contract and flex during aerobic exercise. Stretching helps to maintain flexibility, improves the range of motion and increases flexibility.
  • During your exercise programme, breathe out whenever you contract the muscle and breathe in whenever you relax the muscle.
  • Eat a healthy meal, two hours before your workout and two hours after.
  • Never underestimate any injury obtained while working out. If within the space of the week, the injury has shown no signs of repairing itself, have your medical practitioner give it a look.


Author: Ministry of Health/Alyson Holder

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