Read this post standing up! No really, if you are sitting down to read this blog stand up now! Don't just think about it - Do it - Do it - Do it! Those of us of a certain age might recognize this encouragement not as some deranged Nike ad but as the the catch phrase of Participaction, the program the federal government used years ago to urge Canadians to get up off their couches and out exercise the proverbial 60 year old Swede! In schools the program manifested itself as the CFT - the Canada Fitness Test - a series of drills that had children sitting up, arm hanging and shuttle running their way to awards of excellence, gold, silver, bronze or perhaps just sweaty frustration.
Participaction is back with a new motto and a new initiative encouraging us all to "Get Moving" and to "Bring Back Play". The "Lets Get Moving" campaign reminds Canadians that "by moving more and having fun, we can become a healthier
country". The message is supported by a website filled with tips to help people get moving, along
with the latest news and research about physical activity.
Particularly useful are the tips for including more activity in every day life - simple ideas like parking one's vehicle further away from one's work place in order to add a few more steps to a daily routine. I can personally vouch for this one. Having moved my own parking sport from a reserved spot close to the office to one in the far corner of our admittedly small lot has added about 100 extra steps to my routine. That might not seem like much but multiplied by twice a day for forty weeks a year the steps add up!
For children Participaction's focus is the "Bring Back Play" program. Staying with their theme of making getting active easy and fun Participaction reminds us that "active play may be fun, but it’s certainly not frivolous. Play allows
youth of all ages to try new things, test boundaries and use their
imaginations. In addition to the physical health benefits, active play offers
cognitive, emotional and social development benefits. It has been shown
to improve and foster motor function, creativity, decision-making,
problem-solving and social skills, the ability to control emotions and
Participaction data indicates that as much as 63% of Canadian kids free time after school and on
weekends is spent being sedentary. And if the kids are not moving the statistics are even worse for adults. Sedentary pursuits are supersizing all of us and the consequences will be played out in decreased fitness and increased health problems. We need to get moving, and Participaction's got plenty of great ideas, tips and information on bringing more motion into our lives. Like standing up to read from your computer! Did you follow the direction at the beginning of this post? If so well done! If not its time to get active. Don't just think about it DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!