There was no shortage of fitness, food or fun at a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the Fitness, Food, Fun program which took place June 14 at White Buffalo Youth Lodge (WBYL).

Approximately 50 people attended the event, which included regular participants, peer leaders, past and present staff, as well as guests.

As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, attendees took part in an exercise warm up, and later a rollicking dance session lead by the program’s staff exercise therapists.  A well-deserved lunch of soup, buns, vegetables and dessert, prepared by Community Peer Leaders involved in the program, was enjoyed by all following the group exercise session.

Fitness, Food and Fun Participants Merv and Shirley Nighttraveller

Fitness, Food and Fun Participants Merv and Shirley Nighttraveller

Fitness, Food, Fun is a free, drop-in exercise program which runs Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday mornings at WBYL.  It is offered by Saskatoon Health Region’s LiveWell Diabetes Aim 4 Health Program, in collaboration with WYBL, the Westside Community Clinic and Community Peer Leader Program. It offers supervised exercise in a supportive setting that includes healthy food, information about diabetes care and prevention and access to help with childcare and transportation as needed during the program.

Aim 4 Health is part of the Livewell Diabetes umbrella of programs.  It is geared to individuals and families living with diabetes, or at risk of developing diabetes, with a focus on First Nations and Metis people, and newcomers to Canada.

Deirdra Ness, Affinity Credit Union Council Delegate for Saskatoon presents a cheque for $5,000 to Carol Armstrong-Monhan, Community Peer Leader Coordinator in support of food-related activities at FFF.

Deirdra Ness, Affinity Credit Union Council Delegate for Saskatoon presents a cheque for $5,000 to Carol Armstrong-Monhan, Community Peer Leader Coordinator in support of food-related activities at the Fitness, Food, Fun program.

A special guest at the Fitness, Food, Fun anniversary event was Deirdra Ness, Affinity Credit Union Council Delegate for Saskatoon, who presented the program with a cheque for $5,000.  The donation will be used to purchase healthy snacks for participants while at programming, in addition to off-setting the cost of Good Food Markets offered periodically throughout the year at the program.

“Many of our Fitness, Food, Fun program participants struggle with issues of food security,” notes Lois Crossman, manager, Chronic Disease Management.  “Having healthy food on hand to eat post-exercise, and sometimes pre-exercise, is essential to keeping participants both engaged and safe. Affinity Credit Union’s generous donation will help ensure we can continue to offer nutritious snacks to our participants.”

A unique aspect of Fitness, Food, Fun is its peer leaders. Peer leaders are people who have been attending the program for a number of years, and who are ready to share their experiences and general knowledge about health conditions, healthy eating, and active living with newer participants.

Della Kinequon is one of those peer leaders. She likes the supportive atmosphere the program offers.

Community Peer Leader Della Kinequon

Community Peer Leader Della Kinequon.

“I started out as a participant in Fitness, Food, Fun before I became a peer leader. I was newly diagnosed with diabetes and my kids were young. The program was free and childcare was provided so it really worked for me. Now as a peer leader, I have lots of opportunities for new learning including CPR, first aid and food safe training,” she said.

Participants Merv and Shirley Nighttraveller echo Della’s positive comments about the program.  “Fitness, Food, Fun is the perfect activity for couples,” says Shirley.  “We can come together but work at our own pace and ability levels.”

For more information about the Fitness, Food, Fun Program or other LiveWell Diabetes Aim 4 Health services, call 655-LIVE (306-655-5483).