The Beat
The Beat Goes On
Grey-Bruce Heart Health News

Grey-Bruce Heart Health Update
by Susan Shular, Public Health Nurse, Heart Health Co-ordinator

It has now been one full year since we received funding from the Ministry of Health for Heart Health programming. Within the year we have accomplished many tasks and supported the development and expansion of 16 programs.

We have a new brochure available which reflects the overall goal of Grey-Bruce Heart Health to raise the public awareness of the key lifestyle factors proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. The three risk factors targeted are physical inactive, unhealthy eating and smoking. The brochure also promotes the various programs being offered throughout the 2 counties.

A Needs Assessment was completed with the assistance of approximately 200 Grey Bruce residents, reached through focus groups. The final report is now available. One of the most interesting findings is that although people know the risk factors for heart disease, they need assistance to make healthier lifestyle choices. This information and many more of the conclusions were taken into consideration, as the Heart Health Committee planned for the next four years of programming.

If you would like to know more about Grey-Bruce Heart Health, or would like to receive our brochure or a copy of the Needs Assessment, please contact me at the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit @ 1-800-263-3456.

As the Co-ordinator of Grey-Bruce Heart Health Program, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who has been involved over this past year. Our success is very much due to the support received from the community, and I Thank-You !

Heart Disease:
What has sex got to do with it?
By Betty Perkins, Public Health Nurse

A great deal! Compared to heart attacks in men, women's heart attacks are more fatal, tend to go unrecognized, and are more often followed by a second heart attack during the first year. Also, women with heart disease have symptoms that may differ from the symptoms in men. Women are less likely to have the dramatic chest pain than men do and are more likely to feel neck and shoulder pain, nausea and /or shortness of breath when having a heart attack.

Many women are startled to learn at the Women & Heart Disease forums, that after menopause, they are as vulnerable to heart disease as men. Heart disease and stroke account for 39 percent of female deaths, making them by far the largest killers of women.

There are two Women & Heart Disease Forums planned this spring. One will be offered in Teeswater in late March and the other in southeast Grey in May. The forums attract between 70 and 100 people and focus primarily on risk factors, signs and symptoms, and the importance of early intervention. A researcher from the Heart and Stroke Foundation is invited to speak, as well as a family physician and women with personal stories. The forums are sponsored by the Public Health Unit and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, in collaboration with Grey-Bruce Heart Health.

For more information, call Betty Perkins at
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit
881-1920 or 1-800-821-7714.

You've Gotta Have Heart
is the theme for the improvisational seniors theatre troupe the "Rising Stars"

Join them as they entertain:

The Markdale Seniors - April 7
The Paisley Merry Makers - April 29

All shows are free and will begin at 2:00 p.m.

Don't miss this opportunity to be entertained
while learning valuable information
about heart healthy lifestyle choices.

For more information
Call Marilyn Brown 372-1418.

Did You Know?
Submitted by Marie Barclay, Public Health Nurse

Below you will find a list of the vitamins lost due to smoking. Once you have quit these vitamins will help your body repair the damage caused by tobacco use. Taking supplements while you are still smoking cannot reverse the negative side effects.

Vitamin A is the single most important nutrient for keeping the tissues lining the bronchi, trachea, and lungs healthy. Vitamin A is broken down faster in smokers. If smokers are deficient in vitamin A, the cilia that normally cleanse the lungs are more susceptible to injury. Include vitamin A as part of your quitting plan to help the body repair itself.

Vitamin C is required for the proper functioning of the white blood cells in fighting infection. Smoking one cigarette breaks down the same amount of vitamin C as an average orange. As a result, smokers have 30-50% less vitamin C in their bloodstream than nonsmokers. You need a daily dose of vitamin C because it is water soluble and not stored in the body.

Vitamin B12 helps to detoxify the cyanide found in tobacco smoke. Smokers excrete more B12 and thus have lower levels.

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that protects the body against toxic substances. Vitamin E also seems to protect the lung tissue.

A Program for Smokers who are Thinking About Quitting

I'd like to quit smoking

It's FREE!

receive the program by mail
no lectures
easy to use
stop the program at any time
no gimmicks
no meetings

Be smoke-free for good!
To order, call the Public Health Unit
(376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456)
or the Cancer Society (376-6011)

Is Your Head In A Cloud?

How many cigarettes are NON-SMOKERS breathing without knowing it?

If you're in this location Smoky Bar Restaurant Office Pack-a-day Smoker's home Car
For this long 2 hours 2 hours 8 hours 24 hours 1 hour
You've smoked this many cigarettes 1+1+1+1 1+½ 1+1+1+1+1+1 1+1+1 1+1+1

There is no safe level of exposure to the chemicals in cigarettes. Even the smallest exposure to these carcinogens can cause cellular damage that may lead to the development of cancer and other smoking-related diseases: heart disease, asthma, ear infections (children), emphysema.


The Good Food Box Expanding to a Community Near You!
by Lynda Bumstead R.D., Public Health Dietitian

In co-operation with South East Grey Community Outreach The Good Food Box-Heart Health Initiative is expanding to several more communities in the very near future. The Good Food Box is a fresh produce purchase and distribution system that goes further than most. Yes, being involved allows you to benefit from collective buying power by purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables at wholesale prices from suppliers and local growers. But The Good Food Box goes beyond good food for good value and makes good food easy and affordable.

Funding for heart health initiatives is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and is matched dollar for dollar by in-kind contributions from the Board of Health and from the project partners.

This is how The Good Food Box program works:

A monthly payment is due the first Friday of the month
The box of fresh produce is delivered locally the third week of the month along with a newsletter outlining nutrition information, cooking hints and community news.

The Good Food Box was founded with the aim of improving access to fresh, nutritious and affordable foods.

Rita Mueller will be spearheading this expansion to the Durham and Port Elgin area. If you would like more information about this project you can contact Rita at 923-6221 or 1-800-265-9107 or

Walk Your Way
by Tammy Allison, Public Health Nurse

Well, you've tried it, really enjoyed it and did it regularly but for some reason or another you've fallen off the "walking wagon". You felt like you were doing so well; walking 4-6 days a week and feeling like a million bucks. But life has gotten in the way and now you barely have enough time to bend over to do up your shoes.

You're not alone! In fact, many people have started walking, seen the great benefits of walking but have gotten out of their regular routine.

And life is just like that. Sometimes things happen that interrupt a regular routine and then sooner or later it becomes an excuse not to walk as a person gets used to his or her new routine of being inactive.
It's O.K. to fall off the wagon, but don't let that be an excuse for you to stop. Make each day a new day and hop back on and make this the day that you start feeling great again.

Some people have benefited from walking at work; during break or lunch time. Both employers and staff have noticed an improvement in their work environment such as an increase in staff morale and productivity. Walking with a buddy has also proven to be valuable as people have found that it is great motivation to keep on moving.

Grey-Bruce Heart Health is continuing to offer the Walk Your Way program for people who are interested in adopting walking as their form of regular physical activity. For worksites who are interested in the Walk Your Way program, please contact,:

Heart Health Co-ordinator
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit
376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456

Heart Smart Cooking … The Art of Healthy Eating
By Tena Van't Foort, Public Health Nutritionist

"I've never tried tofu before. I'll definitely make this cheesecake at home."

"I think even my husband would like this vegetarian chili!"

These were just a couple of the comments that were made by participants after recent Heart Smart Cooking sessions in Owen Sound and Chesley.

A recent Canadian survey shows that most women and many men prepare the evening meal at home. Three quarters of Canadian women indicate that they need help in making sure the recipes they use 'fit the nutritional bill.'

That's where Grey-Bruce Heart Health's Heart Smart Cooking workshops come in. Specially designed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the course covers basic, up-to-date concepts about heart smart eating and cooking. Classes cover topics such as how to improve the nutritional quality of meals, modify favourite recipes, plan menus and even how to make healthy selections when eating out. The course is taught by a registered dietitian, a local chef when available, and a Heart and Stroke volunteer.

Recipes prepared together in class usually feature some ingredients that are unfamiliar and that participants would really like to try. Sweet and Sour Soybeans, for example, is always a hit. The tasting part is fun too!

Heart Smart Cooking classes are tentatively scheduled throughout 1999 for Wiarton, Meaford, Teeswater, South Grey (probably Flesherton), and Owen Sound. Watch your local media for details.

Challenge the Pro´s ´99
by Susan Miller, Public Health Nurse

"Challenge the Pro's is a great opportunity to try new activities, learn about heart health, and just have fun."
-- Susan Shular, Heart Health Coordinator.

Come out and spend a fun-filled Saturday getting sports tips from your favourite athletes, trying out those new sports you've been wanting to try, and learning how you can keep your heart healthy!

Low fat taste testing will be available.

A great family day awaits you.

Challenge the Pro's 1999
Saturday June 26 1999 (rain date June 27th)
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
C.A.W. Family Education Centre
Port Elgin Ontario

Enjoy … L.I.F.E.!
by Lynda Bumstead, R.D. Public Health Dietitian

L - A healthy Lifestyle as you age can help you look and feel your best. Make eating an enjoyable part of your life. Why not try a new recipe this month!

I - Healthy eating can promote Independence in later years by helping to protect you from certain illnesses.

F - When making Food choices:
Be realistic - make small changes one step at a time!
Be adventurous - expand your tastes to enjoy a variety of foods.

E - Healthy eating and regular physical activity give you Energy to get going and keep going.

Healthy eating is delicious and enjoyable, so don't miss out. During March, Nutrition Month, you will be hearing more ideas on how healthy eating can make you feel your best every day!

Get Moving
By Betty Perkins, Public Health Nurse

Healthier living really does decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke! A leading study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that if you exercise regularly (Greater than three hours per week), your heart attack risk is 45 percent lower than that of sedentary persons. Other researchers have found that the risk of stroke goes down as the amount of daily physical activity increases.

In addition, maintaining your ideal weight (which, of course, is easier with exercise) means you'll have a 35 to 55 percent lower heart attack risk than people weighing 20 percent or more than they should.

The health of two thirds of Canadians is at serious risk due to dangerously inactive lifestyles. To combat the inactivity trend, Health Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, has produced several tools to help Canadians get active their way, every day -- for life!

Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living
by Betty Perkins, Public Health Nurse

The Physical Activity Guide is designed for adults and recommends 60 minutes of physical activity every day to stay healthy or improve health. As a person progresses to more intense activities, they can cut down to 30 minutes, four days a week. The guide also suggests Canadians can add up their activities in periods of at least 10 minutes each, starting slowly and building up. A copy of the guide is attached and a supply can be ordered by calling, 1-888-334-9767.

The Handbook for Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living is a 32-page self-help companion piece that expands on the information presented in the guide, using vignettes and concrete examples of activities Canadians of all ages and abilities can do to get moving.

An additional supplement to the Physical Activity Guide will be launched in May 1999, for the older adult. The guide is a result of extensive scientific research and has been endorsed by over 40 organizations with an interest in promoting healthy, active lifestyles for Canadians.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments have targeted a 10 percent reduction in the number of inactive Canadians between 1998 and 2003. The launch and distribution of the guide is a major step towards building the knowledge and awareness necessary for Canadians to achieve this goal. The guide is included as part of this publication.

Be active, your way, every day -- for life!
Your health is at stake.

The Beat Awards
by Beth Slumskie, Heart and Stroke Foundation

"The Beat Goes On" Award Winners…Knowing the way, and going the way!!

Most of us know what we should and shouldn´t be doing, to keep our hearts healthy. But making those lifestyle changes can be one of the toughest challenges we face, requiring a lot of determination, resolve and effort.

This month, the "Beat Goes On" Awards, sponsored by the Grey-Bruce Heart Health Project, give us an opportunity to recognize and applaud those people in our community who have accepted the challenge and have made the changes necessary to reduce their risk of heart disease.

A record breaking number of nominations were received, with all nominees having made impressive changes to their lifestyles, and many having also supported and inspired others to do the same. All were excellent role models for family, friends and co-workers, and we recognize them for their outstanding commitment to better health.

The winner in the ‘individual´ category was Margaret Metcalfe, from Port Elgin, for her volunteer efforts at Lakeshore Recreation, teaching and modeling safe physical activity, and healthy eating habits.

The ‘school´ category award goes to Bill Colley and Dave Bertrand who have given of themselves to develop and implement the "Movin´ On" project in 11 Bluewater Elementary schools. This project promotes physical activity in students by offering an organized program where students can accumulate kilometres for themselves, their class, and their school.

Winners in the ‘work site´ category are Pat Wilson and Jackie Mersich, for their instrumental role in the development of and teaching in the ‘Cardiac Exercise Support Program´. This 12 week program combines physical fitness classes and blood pressure monitoring with education about ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.

This year, for the first time, we have a new award category, the ‘community/group´ category, which goes to ‘The Fat Boys´ running club. This club was started by 4 men, each weighing 200 pounds or more, who wanted to run for exercise. The group now includes 35 members with runs taking place on a daily basis. Members talk about the great gains running has brought to their lives, and the importance of being physically active with others for support.

Congratulations to all nominees, for changing your lifestyles, and thank-you to those who sent us their nominations and helped us to commend the excellent efforts of our heart healthy community members! It is because of people like you that, The Beat Goes On!

Grey-Bruce Heart Health Partners include the following: Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit, Bluewater District School Board, Owen Sound Family "Y", Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Lake Huron Zone Recreationists Association, Grey-Bruce Health Services, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, The Lung Association, South East Grey Community Outreach, Grey-Bruce Food Security Network, Market Grey-Bruce, Community Coalition for Prevention of Falls in Older Adults, Grey Bruce Council on Smoking and Health Port Elgin Community Services, Grey-Bruce Nutrition Committee. If you would like more information on Grey-Bruce Heart Health contact Susan Shular, Heart Health Coordinator at 1-800-263-3456 or 376-9420.

Funding for heart health initiatives is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and is matched dollar for dollar by in-kind contributions from the Board of Health and from the project partners.

Grey-Bruce Heart Health
c/o Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit
920 1st Avenue West
Owen Sound Ontario
Canada N4K 4K5

Phone (519) 376-9420
Heart Health Home Page | October 1998 Newsletter |