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Let's Move Canada

Let's Move Canada

Can you relate to this, stuck behind unnecessarily slow traffic but with places to go, and just wishing "Lets move folks!". If we are honest with ourselves, its usually because we didn't start early enough and really, our urgency is typically a first world problem, as it's usually not life or death whether we get "there" a little faster.

Clearly I can relate, hence my mentioning it. So let's consider another first world problem, our collective activity and fitness levels. The First Annual National Forum on Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health held in West Vancouver June 1, marked National Health and Fitness Day in Canada (first Saturday of June annually). There were a number of speakers, including: the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Federal Minister of Sport and Physical Activity; Dr Alex Choi, Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health; Dr. Silke Cresswell, Neurologist; Sara Gilbert, President Fitness Industry Council of Canada and more. Dr. Tommy Gerschmann MD and Rheumatologist noted that only 39% of Canadian children are meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines - and its worse for adults.

It was refreshing though to hear speakers such as Diane Nelson, Director of Instruction, West Vancouver School District share how physical activity and skills building was being integrated into their school curriculum. That's important because if we don't start young with physical activity, what's there to maintain? A big challenge though is around grade 10, with a drop off in physical activity, especially so for girls. Its a key reason why SierraSil is happy to be a sponsor of the Victoria Women's basketball League, targeting ages 18+ enabling the women to stay active through group sport. So starting young is great, but it is never too late to start, nor are we never too busy to commit to getting fitter. Consider the 11 minute 5BX (for five basic exercises) plan developed by the Canadian Air Force in the 1950s and now getting renewed attention!

It's also not to late to join the Lets Move Canada (which is also open to anyone anywhere in the world!) and follow @LetsMoveCanada on your social media. The challenge is a partnership of The Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle (IPACC) and the Canadian Health & Fitness Institute (CHFI). It runs through to June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. 

I have been asked, "Why is Lets Move Canada important to me?" Striving to be fit (recognizing that sometimes it is out of our control), enables us to better enjoy our relationships and being in nature (garden, park or wilderness), maintain independence longer in life, and be better able to help those around us in their time of need - as well as less of a worry to them. So if you have been more idle that you'd like to be, Lets Move together. Consider active transportation, aka walking or biking (with helmet please) to work or a social visit, or even for a post dinner walk to help better metabolize your meal. Use your grocery bag for a few bicep reps when you get home. You get the idea. Don't get stuck by your own mindset, Let's Move Canada (and elsewhere)!