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Health fair filled with advice for elders


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POSTED: Saturday, March 28, 2009

A friend once told me that every morning, as soon as I get out of bed, I should start moving. He demonstrated by standing with his legs together and began swiveling his hips, like doing a hula, slowly lowering his body, hips still circling, then bringing his body back up the same way.

I asked Rodney Lavarias, a health educator with HMSA, if this was a good idea.

There are some good morning stretches, Lavarias said. However, “;the intensity of stretching is different when you're younger. As you get older the muscles loose its elasticity so you go slower. Take a warm shower first. Or do light warm-ups (before stretching). Move around first,”; Lavarias said.

Unlike exercise, Lavarias said there is no such thing as over stretching. And it can be done over long periods of time or 5-minute spurts.

“;We get older we don't do anything,”; Lavarias said. If you don't stretch, everything gets tight, range of motion decreases. Stretching gets all the toxins out of the body, helps bring the muscles back into form.”;

Lavarias will be demonstrating several warm-up stretches from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. Wednesday on the main stage at the 15th annual Oahu PrimeTime Wellness Fair at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

The fair will offer more than 80 exhibits promoting healthy lifestyles, including free health screenings for glucose, cholesterol, hearing and blood pressure; risk assessments for falls and injuries; spinal and foot screenings; healthy cooking demonstrations with Don Ho's Island Grill chef Robert Denis; ceramics and craft demonstrations; Bingo and other games; and door prizes.

Dr. Sze Mei Chung from Kuakini Health System will speak on “;Healthy Aging in Older Adults: Exercise, Bone Health, Fall Prevention, Immunization and Driving”; and Dr. Bradley Willcox will cover “;Top Strategies for Extending Your Healthspan.”; There also will be notary services available by The Mobile Notary. Only one document per person will be notarized with a current photo ID.

And, for those doing some spring cleaning, Access Information Management is offering free document shredding limited to only two banker boxes per person. The boxes can be dropped off at Ward Avenue during fair hours.

The fair runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with opening ceremonies at 8:15 a.m. It is sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank, the Department of Parks & Recreation, Kuakini Health System and HMSA. Call 844-4444