Best Me 2012 is a community health and wellness campaign spearheaded in Gibsons, with benefits for anyone on the Sunshine Coast. It's fun, free, supportive and informative, intended to raise awareness of wellness and fitness for the entire community leading up to national fitness and health Day on Saturday, June 2.
“The stronger a community gets physically, the stronger it becomes socially and in other areas too," said Gibsons councillor and fitness expert Charlene SanJenko. "It's a Gibsons-focused challenge, but we welcome everyone."
The Best Me 2012 community challenge invites participants to register and set their own personal wellness goals, then complete a free health and wellness assessment, including consultation with Howe Sound Pharmacy health experts and simple testing using the pharmacy's new Life Clinic Health Check machine.
Your wellness goals can be anything — from simply staying healthy and mobile, to quitting smoking, learning yoga, or running a race. It's a free initiative, but each registrant is asked to "invest" $25, a refundable deposit which is returned to you when your goals are met — or, donated on your behalf to the local food bank if they're not met.
"The idea is to register, get your challenge kit, sit down and determine your goals and get your readings done," said John Shaske, owner Howe Sound Pharmacy, which offers the consultation and Health Check service. "We can also connect you to wellness and fitness practitioners in the community, as needed."
Participants receive regular tips, motivation, healthy recipes, notices of community events and classes, to help keep them focused on goals.
Gibsons Marketplace IGA, Howe Sound Pharmacy and SanJenko hosted a kick-off for the challenge on April 5, joined by community partners MYoga, Curves in Gibsons, Shohei Juku Aikido, Wellness Centered Counselling, and Gibsons Chiropractic, Health and Wellness Centre. Each partner offers support to the program and/or incentives for registrants. New community partners are invited to get involved at any time.
The pharmacy's Health Check machine is easy to use and conveniently measures, saves and tracks your weight, heart rate, body fat percentage and body mass index, blood pressure and blood oxygen level. You can check in regularly and then track your progress, even from your home computer.
Gibsons Marketplace IGA, wellness initiatives are ongoing and include a new self-serve fresh salad bar with healthy salads using whole grains, fresh vegetables and freshly roasted deli proteins, focusing on whole foods, free of preservatives. Look for organic meats and an expanded local produce department plus Best Me 2012 tags identifying the healthiest foods on every aisle.
Owner Bob Hoy, is also participating in the Best Me 2012 challenge and shared an example of a simple wellness goal.
“I don't believe you have to be a fanatical fitness person, to do this, just pick one or two wellness components to work on a week," Hoy said. "For example, one thing I'm committing to is reducing the amount of sugar that I consume."
SanJenko is offering several fitness programs related to Best Me 2012 including, jump start one-day fitness and spa vacations at Painted Boat Resort Spa and Marina on April 28, Lighten Up, a mentoring group for women with a four-week pre-summer detox cleanse in June, and her ongoing 90-day on-line fitness program called Sleek and Sexy.
Each registrant who signs up for Best Me 2012 receives a kit containing a list of Best Me 2012 foods, medication and health consultation documents, glossary, exercise program tracking sheets, and info sheets on nutrition, cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure. Best Me community partners are also offering various incentives, free consultation, classes and generous discounts to programs. There are also lots of prizes to keep participants motivated.
Mary Shaw, MYoga director and founder is offering registrants who sign up for Best Me 2012 one free yoga class, for example, a great opportunity to try out a new wellness activity.
"I support this because I believe that a healthy lifestyle is available to anybody," Shaw said. "When you get everyone together, there are many wellness options available so there's more of a chance for a person to find a good fit — and we want to see everyone thriving."
For more information and a full list of partners, prizes and registrant incentives, visit bestme2012.com; then drop by or call Howe Sound Pharmacy at 604-886-3365 to make an appointment for a consultation.