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March 23, 2012

A large crowd of men and women attended National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section’s program “Healthy Bones” on March 14 at the home of Glenna and Michael Kay.  This informative program on osteoporosis consisted of three speakers from the Manitoba Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada.
Cindy Lazar, co-president of National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section briefly described the history of National Council of Jewish Women, and gave a brief overview of programs that have taken place in the past year.  Cindy introduced the three presenters.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.  Fractures from osteoporosis are more common that heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.  Statistically, at least one in three women and one in three men will suffer from a broken bone due to osteoporosis during their lifetime.
Pat McCarthy-Briggs is a registered dietitian who spoke about the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet in order to prevent osteoporosis.  In particular, she spoke of the value of vitamin D, and of the importance of incorporating calcium into one's daily diet.  She encouraged everyone to assess how much calcium they are already taking in through food by use of a "calcium calculator" which is available on the Osteoporosis Canada website.  She also highlighted the various stages of bone growth and health, and the importance of building bone mass through puberty.  It is during the years immediately prior and during puberty that the body has the best opportunity to build bone.
Lori De Pauw who is a physiotherapist explained how exercise is vital in strengthening bones to prevent osteoporosis.  Different strategies are recommended for different stages of life.  For example, while weight bearing exercise is always important, at a later stage in life, resistance training increases in value.  Certain exercises, such as crunches have been shown to be detrimental to individuals who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, while exercises which stretch the back the other direction can decrease the chances of a new fracture in those with osteoporosis.
Michelle Glass, co-president of National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section is a pharmacist at her family-run pharmacy, Munroe Pharmacy.  She spoke about drugs that are important in maintaining healthy bones, and stressed the importance of both taking drugs in the manner recommended, and with continuing to take prescribed drugs as recommended by a physician.  She noted that over 25% of women and over 30% of men who suffer a hip fracture will dies within a year of the fracture.  Food for thought!
The evening ended with a question period, door prizes donated by Munroe Pharmacy, Taylor McCaffrey LLP and Sellors & Associates, and a reception sponsored by Glenna and Michael Kay.
This program on health issues was the second in a series.  Previously, a successful program was held focusing on women’s cancers.  National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section is planning on holding more informative discussions on women’s health issues, as well as continuing its other activities.  The next program dealing with women's health will be the Run for the Cure on September 30.  National Council of Jewish Women will be fielding teams in several Canadian cities, including Winnipeg.  Everyone is welcome to join.
If anyone is interested in becoming involved and helping out, please contact Council office at 339-7291.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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