AFN Women's Council Challenges Chiefs to become models of fitness

    QUEBEC CITY, July 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Former Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller
and former Pittsburg Penguins Captain Dan Frawley will join the AFN Women's
Council as they launch a first-time Fitness Challenge to First Nations
leadership that stresses the positive link between healthy living and
controlling diabetes.
    The Fitness Challenge will kick-off when the two athletes join the AFN
Women's Council in a lunch-hour walk at the AFN Annual General Assembly July
16th at 12 pm. Chiefs will be encouraged to join in as the Women's Council
leaves the Quebec City Convention Centre. The Women's Council hopes the walk
will show how easy it is to fit exercise into daily life.
    The challenge will begin in earnest for Chiefs and Regional Chiefs when
they return home and set up teams of 10 participants who will participate in
daily fitness activities and record their progress. The challenge will begin
August 1rst and run for 3 months. Top performers and a top team will be
honoured at an upcoming Special Chief's Assembly.
    "Aerobic exercise and resistance exercise can help people with diabetes
better control their blood sugar levels, by burning fat and glucose. Diabetics
are also in a high-risk group for heart disease and stroke and exercise can
help reduce the risk. First Nations leaders are, in many ways, role models for
their communities. Stressing the importance of physical fitness by setting a
positive example is one way we can all contribute and make a positive
difference," said AFN Women's Council Chair Kathleen McHugh.
    Diabetes is 3 to 5 times more common among First Nations than the general
population. With one third of adults 50 and currently suffering from diabetes,
almost all adults will be touched by the disease, either directly, or through
family, friends and neighbours. Many First Nations children and youth are also
at high risk of developing diabetes due to a lack of exercise, poor diet, and
    The AFN is recommending that participants consult a physician before
starting a new fitness program. Participants do not have to be diabetic to
take part, the Fitness Challenge is open to all.
    While the first Fitness Challenge is targeting leadership, a similar
campaign next year will target school-aged youth.

For further information:

For further information: Karyn Pugliese, AFN Health Communications,
(613) 241-6789 ext. 210, cell: (613)292-1877,

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