A crowd of a couple hundred Sunshine Coasters gathered at Rockwood Pavilion on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Aug. 27, to listen to “Aging Well,” the second presentation in the MedTalks series organized by the Sechelt Hospital Foundation.
Keynote speaker Torah Kachur, a genetics professor who is CBC Radio One’s national science columnist, gave a lively and informative description of recent research into the biology of “reversing the aging process”.
“It’s not a crazy idea that we can cure aging,” says Kachur. She notes that other organisms exist that don’t age, so it’s not unreasonable to think we could replicate that feat in humans.
Although a number of organizations, such as the Sens Research Foundation, are seriously researching the biology of aging, she said that the problem is very complex and a solution is not around the corner. In the meantime, she urged people to pursue healthy habits that have been shown to retard symptoms of aging, including limiting food intake, (especially sugar), exercising, and staying socially active.
Louise Rolland from the University of Victoria’s “Self Management BC” program, told the audience about workshops she holds that help people cope with chronic conditions such as chronic pain and diabetes. Programs are held in person on the Sunshine Coast and are also available online through selfmanagementbc.ca.
Rolland says that building a “healing team” and learning how to manage your health condition can make a huge difference in people’s quality of life.
Finally, Jody Shaw, physiotherapist, got the audience on their feet by demonstrating a series of simple exercises that can easily be done at home.
“Our bodies were made to move,” says Shaw, urging people to choose an activity they enjoy and make movement a part of their regular routine.
She explained that exercise helps people build strength and balance, reduce injuries, stay mobile, and reduces the risk of the “big four” (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and cancer). Exercising the body also keeps the brain in shape. It improves mood, memory and thought processes.
The two-hour presentation was broken up with tuneful interludes by local musicians “Reg, Lynne and The Other Guy” (Reg and Lynne Dickson and Warren Allan).
The next MedTalks will
be held on Nov. 3. The series focuses on mental, physical and emotional well-being. Admission to MedTalks is by donation with proceeds
to the Sechelt Hospital Foundation.