It’s National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD) on Saturday, June 3, and everyone is welcome to play. This is a fun, free initiative led by ParticipACTION to help Canadians sit less and move more. The non-profit organization works in partnership with sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors to encourage play and other forms of physical activity as key components to healthy living.
In fact, the folks at ParticipACTION would like Canada to become the fittest nation on earth. It’s an ambitious goal, and it starts with each of us individually and right here at home.
Each year, the first Saturday in June is designated for Canadians to commemorate fitness by getting up and out and doing something positive to support physical and mental health. The best part is, what you do is totally up to you. You can choose your own activities to suit your mood, interests and fitness level. And on the Coast, when it comes to recreation – whether indoors or out – our choices are almost endless.
But first, a little self-reflection might be in order. Do you think you’re getting enough exercise on a day-to-day basis? It turns out that many of us could be doing much better at being more active.
According to current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines it’s advisable that children up to four years of age get 180 minutes of any intensity physical activity per day. Children and youth from five to 17 years of age need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day, while adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week. But data from Canadian Health Measures Survey suggests that only 15 per cent of adults and seven per cent of children from five years up to youth are meeting the current guidelines. Thankfully, 84 per cent of three and four year olds are meeting the guidelines.
Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is celebrating National Health and Fitness Day by promoting the use of our local transit, health, recreational, sports and fitness facilities. On June 3, a one-time MYPASS entry will be offered to anyone with a current monthly transit pass, redeemable at Sechelt Aquatic Centre and Gibsons and Area Community Centre. You can use the MYPASS for admission to Aquafit, the arena, courts, drop-in fitness classes, swims and weight rooms. For more information, see scrd.ca/drop-in.
ParticipACTION has also compiled a fun, 150 Play List program with specific activities to celebrate Canada’s 150th year. You can register for the program with prizes or simply use the list as inspiration. It includes all kinds of great activities available on the Coast, including bocce ball, canoeing, kayaking, Pilates, yoga, fishing, hiking, dog walking, rollerblading, paddle boarding – and even chopping wood and roller derby!
You can find the full playlist at participaction.com