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Category: Health

YMCA of Okanagan to open fitness centre in downtown Kelowna

The YMCA of Okanagan is opening a new YMCA fitness centre located in downtown Kelowna.  The Downtown YMCA will be situated at 505 Doyle Avenue on the main floor of the new Interior Health Kelowna Community Health and Services Centre and will support the health and wellness of residents and employees in the downtown area and neighbouring communities.   This 7,500 sq. ft. fitness centre will offer a full suite of cardio and strength equipment, functional fitness areas, an 800 sq. ft. group fitness studio, a dedicated cycle studio, day-use lockers and shower amenities. Services will include group fitness...

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New moms moving toward the bottle

New moms are increasingly using expressed breast milk (either pumped or expressed by hand) instead of directly breastfeeding their babies, according to a UBC study. The study also found that moms who use expressed breast milk typically transition their babies to infant formula feeding sooner than their breastfeeding peers, a trend that may impact the health of our next generation. “Breastfeeding is the unequalled method for feeding infants,” says Marie Tarrant, director of nursing at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “It has been previously determined that breastfeeding is important for the nutrition, immunology, growth and development of infants and toddlers. Anything that contributes to shortening the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding is a concern.” UBC Professor Marie Tarrant Tarrant and her research team, including co-author Dorothy Bai of the University of Hong Kong, studied the infant feeding practices of more than 2,000 moms living in Hong Kong. They found that during a five-year stretch, mothers moved away from directly breastfeeding their infants to using expressed breast milk, which is usually delivered via a bottle. “New mothers may believe there is no difference between expressed breast-milk feeding and direct feeding at the breast,” says Tarrant. “Although expressed breast-milk feeding provides greater benefits than infant formula, bottle-feeding may increase the risk of respiratory issues, asthma, rapid weight gain and oral diseases.” The study demonstrated that those moms who expressed breast milk were...

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Daily emails and a glass of milk 

UBC researchers have demonstrated that simple, cost-effective email messages can help improve the calcium intake of Canadians. Mary Jung, an assistant professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC's Okanagan campus, recently completed a nationwide study with more than 730 Canadians who were not meeting Canada’s recommended dietary intake for calcium. Participants received an email—with evidence-based daily tips and strategies on how to increase calcium intake—four days in a row. Jung, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Professor, wanted to determine if targeted messaging—making particular outcomes relevant to the population of interest—could be a feasible public health strategy for improving calcium intake. “Just four targeted messages made a remarkable difference in the consumption of calcium-rich foods,” says Jung. “The majority of our participants increased their calcium intake by one serving of dairy a day—pretty good results.” Rather than tailoring messages to each individual, which can be costly and intrusive, the messages in this study highlighted outcomes Jung had found relevant to her targeted audience. Specifically, she used evidence-based information including the suggestion of being a positive role model for one’s children, understanding the health benefits of consuming enough calcium as we age, and strategies to keep up the required daily consumption. Despite the known health benefits of getting enough calcium, such as bone health, less than 40 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 30 and...

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Fitness app research combine psychology and technology

When fitness apps include personal touches such as individualized goals and contact with a ‘real live trainer,’ users tend to exercise more consistently, a UBC study concludes. Mary Jung, an assistant professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, recently completed an eight-week study that examined the effectiveness of fitness apps. “More than ever before, mobile apps provide an opportunity to provide real-time feedback and support to the public and specialized health populations,” says Jung. “In order for app users to reach their full potential, we need to ensure that they stay engaged and are provided with...

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A Good End: a look at doctor-assisted death

As the June 6 deadline approaches for the federal government to impose doctor-assisted death legislation, we revisit one of our stories looking at both sides of the right-to-die debate within the Okanagan. As poet Dylan Thomas urged, we do not go gently, we fight with our last dying breath to hold onto the inexplicably beautiful gift of life. Yet dying is our destiny. Just as life is lived in a profoundly personal way for each of us, death is unique for everyone—a sentiment at the heart of the hotly debated topic of assisted dying. I began researching the “right...

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