The health of the staff and clients of the Urban Development Commission (UDC) will be the focus this month, as Mission Independence – Get Healthy, gets into full swing.

The project began on Monday, November 1, and according to the UDC’s Activity Coordinator, Sondra Leacock, the initiative was inspired by the interest of staff in making healthier lifestyle choices.

"This mission was conceptualised primarily to encourage the staff to eat healthier meals at lunch and to make exercise a regular routine.?? After consultation, a decision was taken to start preparations for the activities of Mission Independence.?? We began with a confidential weigh-in for staff,?? marking the start of a friendly weight loss competition. Those taking part in the competition were issued with personal weigh-in cards and received an incentive package of a water bottle, hand towel and healthy lifestyle literature," she said.??

Ms. Leacock pointed out that signs had also been placed strategically throughout the office to raise awareness about health targets, including, "No Sugar", "No White Bread", "Water, Water, Water," and "Healthy Snacking Only".?? In addition, a daily healthy message is heard via intercom at 10:00 a.m. each day.

Activities will run until Independence Day, Tuesday, November 30, and will include walks around the Bridgetown area, health talks by the Barbados Nurses Association, paddleball beach sessions, and training sessions with a former Barbados Defense Force soldier.??

The Coordinator noted that, in order to provide practical information to staff members, there will also be a number of opportunities to learn more about healthy living. These include a showcase of cooking the healthy ???Bajan Way’ by Food Development Officer at the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation, Marion Hart, and information about the correct choice and usage of supplements from a representative of Nature’s Discount.??

Staff will also take part, as a group, in the Nation Fun Walk scheduled for Sunday, November 21.?? Mission Independence, Get Healthy month will climax on Monday November 29, with the final weigh-in, a cricket match between the UDC and the Rural Development Commission, and a fun-day on Independence Day for which staff will prepare healthy Barbadian dishes.??

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