In the small community of Blackville and its surrounding areas, people are becoming more aware of the factors that affect their health and are being encouraged to make healthier lifestyle changes.
Blackville’s Mango committee is made up of dedicated individuals who have taken the health of residents to heart and are consciously looking to provide wellness opportunities to seniors, adults and children.
“We live in a rural area and sometimes there are not a lot of services. We want to look at opportunities to bring options to our neighbors,” said Jean Goodfellow. Goodfellow is a member of the Mango Blackville committee.
Blackville’s own Jackie Curtis has volunteered her time to become certified as a fitness instructor who offers aerobics classes to members of the community. Aerobic classes are proving popular in the community with 15 to 20 people turning out at each session. Sessions are held Mondays and Wednesdays at the United Church Hall in Blackville.
The Mango Blackville committee has been fortunate to receive funding through a program called Active Communities, which is funded through the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. Applications are received and money is allocated based on the ideas surrounding physical activity initiatives in communities.
“We are very happy that grants are provided to us so that we can give back to the community in the form of aerobic classes or walking programs,” Goodfellow said.
The next initiative on the committee’s list is a walking program for seniors that will be held at Blackville School. This program will be led by a senior and will be held in the evening. It will give seniors a chance to walk indoors for the winter months.
In the past, Blackville has provided walking programs throughout the summer months and handed out pedometers to residents as a tool to help reach their daily levels of physical activity.
Blackville residents are taking advantage of many programs offered to them in both physical activity and healthy eating. Several of the area restaurants have joined Mango’s Eat Well! restaurant program and offer healthier menu options to their customers.
“As volunteers, we are happy to be able to join with our neighbors and friends, working together, for a healthier community,” said Goodfellow.
The Healthy Choices column promotes the Mango healthy living program in the Miramichi area.