BC Medical Association

BC Medical Association

July 27, 2005 16:22 ET

BC Medical Association Encourages BC Families to get Involved in Community Sports and Recreation

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - July 27, 2005) - Fitting exercise into a busy week is easier when it is scheduled and close to home. The BC Medical Association encourages families to take advantage of the sports and recreation events, classes, and programs offered locally in their community this summer to make physical activity part of their daily routine.

As part of its Eat well Play well Stay well campaign, the BC Medical Association has created a list of Tips on getting involved in physical activity in your community. This campaign provides parents with information to make healthy choices for their children in order to prevent and reduce cases of childhood obesity. The BCMA encourages parents to lead by example in pursuing a healthy, active lifestyle. Increased physical activity through community participation is an important message of the campaign. For more information, visit our website at www.bcma.org/healthykids.

The BCMA has issued a 30 Minute Physical Activity Challenge through this campaign to motivate children and adults to add at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to their daily routine. Community sports and recreation provide numerous excellent ways of participating in and succeeding at the 30 Minute Physical Activity Challenge.

Involvement in community sports and recreation activities means pre-planned, guaranteed physical activity. Over time the scheduled exercise becomes a natural part of the weekly normal routine and a healthier lifestyle becomes the natural choice. Group sports and recreation also provide the support of other people to encourage and promote progress and improved fitness results.

Physical inactivity leads to a sedentary lifestyle, one of the world's leading preventable causes of death, disease, and disability. It is linked to increased rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, Type II Diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and premature death.

Over half of Canada's children and youth are not active enough for healthy growth and development. Physicians recommend children and adults start by increasing their physical activity level by 30 minutes per day and over 5 months gradually increase this to 90 minutes per day.

Obesity rates have increased across all age groups in Canada over the past 25 years. Young Canadians saw the highest increase between 1978/79 and 2004, with a tripling of the obesity rate for youth age 12 to 17, according to recently released data from the Canadian Community Health Survey.

Get involved in physical activity in your community

Each community in British Columbia offers sports and recreation opportunities. Discover the options available near your home or start up a new activity for yourself, your children, or your friends.

Try something new

Sign up to learn a new sport at your local recreation centre and encourage the same for your children. You might just find the sport you have been looking for.

Start a Walking School Bus

A walking school bus picks up students house by house on foot so students can walk to school together along a set route. Using an adult supervisor, the Walking School Bus provides students with a safe and healthy mode of transportation to school.

Join a team

Team sports offer friendly competition with the camaraderie of a group experience. Be part of a local sports team as a player or a coach and get to know your neighbours.

Get together for a walk and talk

Friends often like to meet together over a cup of coffee. Rather than sitting down, try going for a walk while you talk. Exchange the mug for a travel cup and bring your bring drink along.

Establish a walking club

No equipment is required. All you need is your feet and a set place and time to meet.

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