The Woolwich Observer

Victim support group sets up chapter in region

- Damon Maclean Observer Staff SHELTER


supports those who’ve experience genderbase­d and domestic violence is setting up in Waterloo Region. This would be the sixth chapter of Shelter Movers, which assists women and children feeling abuse with moving and storage.

The organizati­on currently operates in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal and Nova Scotia.

There’s a need for its services in Waterloo Region, the agency says.

“Shelter Movers was invited to Waterloo Region because the community knows the need for this service is great. We look forward to supporting survivors on their journey to a life free of violence”, said Marc Hull-Jacquin, founder and executive director of Shelter Movers.

The region was a prime location given that the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area has been deemed the least safe place for women to live among Canada’s 26 metropolit­an regions, with 16 calls for domestic violence made daily to police. Additional­ly, approximat­ely

272 women and nearly 200 children require shelter use yearly in the area.

Expanding operations is no simple venture and has been more challengin­g during a year of pandemic, but fleeing abuse without the help of an organizati­on like Shelter Movers during this time is even more of a challenge, he said.

The group estimates it has helped move and support 2,000 families, averaging about 100 families a month through its chapters, adding the need for service has doubled since the pandemic began nearly a year ago.

Although the three cities in the region were listed as some of the most dangerous places for women in the country, Shelter Movers is here for those living in and around the area in the townships.

“While we have typically started our chapters in more metropolit­an areas, we certainly do attempt to service anyone who we have access to,” said Amanda Levine, chair of Shelter Movers Waterloo chapter.

Referrals to the program will be made through partner organizati­ons in the region that are currently being solidified, such as Woolwich Community Services, Women’s Crises Services Waterloo Region and working in cooperatio­n with the Waterloo Regional Police Services.

The group has been operating in the region since December, with an event marking the first move held January 21.

“The goal of the launch event really is to introduce ourselves to the community. We look to work very closely with social service agencies in the unique communitie­s that we were in. Therefore, we want to


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I know I need to drink while I exercise but what is the best fluid? I'm wondering how much I should drink and if I need to drink special water as someone mentioned alkaline water. Is alkaline water better at rehydratin­g your body than nonalkalin­e, or plain, water?

ĩƉdž^żյ Staying hydrated during exercise is important. You can become dehydrated if you take in too little. But you can actually cause problems, such as exercise-induced low sodium or hyponatrem­ia, if you take in too much fluid.

The purpose of rehydratin­g – whether with water or electrolyt­e-containing beverages – is to pull fluid back into our system so our organs can function properly.

How much to drink and when is dependent on each individual. The general rule of thumb at this point among physicians is to drink to thirst. Although there are guidelines for hydration before, during and after exercise, look and listen to your body as the best indicator when you need hydration.

Certainly during summer months, when the weather is hotter and you may be exercising outdoors, you may also want to take in more fluid than usual.

For most people, plain water is best. Depending upon how extensivel­y you exercise, you can consume about half your fluid intake in water and half in a beverage that contains electrolyt­es and some carbohydra­te. Be mindful of the amount of sugar, though.

The reason you want a beverage that includes both is that when you sweat, your body is losing fluid, along with those electrolyt­es, such as sodium and chloride. Carbohydra­tes provide fuel for your working muscles.

Many people don't drink enough water, and they may feel better after increasing hydration -- no matter the source. So, it's probably not the alkaline nature of the water that's of benefit. It's the water. Certainly, it is your choice if you want to add alkaline water to your fluids but it's important to understand the definition of alkaline water and how your body works.

Scientists use pH to describe how acidic or basic a substance is, with a range from 0 to 14.

Pure water has a pH of 7, meaning it's neutral. Fluids with a pH under 7, such as coffee and soda, are acidic. Substances with a pH over 7, such as baking soda, are basic, or alkaline.

Alkaline waters have a pH around 8 or 9. Some vendors use water that has a naturally higher pH, while others say that they create alkaline water through an ionization process. Regardless of what you eat or drink, your body is good at regulating your blood pH through organs such as your lungs and kidneys.

There are many claims out there about alkaline water, including that it can rehydrate the body better, it will detoxify and "balance" your body, help you lose weight, and prevent or even treat cancer. However, there's little credible research showing the benefits of alkaline water.

Some studies also suggest that alkaline water might help slow bone loss, but further investigat­ion is needed to determine if this influences overall bone mineral density and if the benefit is maintained over the long term.

Best rule of thumb is when you exercise, drink to thirst and hydrate your body with plain water and as needed, a sports beverage.

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