The importance of health and fitness in Canada

Physical inactivity is a recognized public health issue across the country and around the globe. Canadians are not moving enough and factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and the digital age have exacerbated this trend. Working from home and the convenience that the internet provides have made life more sedentary – no more walks to grab a coffee or go shopping in a mall when online deliveries have made it possible to access everything from home.

Nevertheless, while these facilities make life easy in some ways, it does mean that Canadians are moving less and that doesn’t bode well for our population. From an economic perspective, physical inactivity can cost our health-care system over $5 billion annually.

With that in mind, the need to create a more active society led to the National Health and Fitness Day Act, Bill S-211 in 2014.  This initiative aims to make Canada “the fittest national in the world”, starting with one day to celebrate Canadians getting outside and getting active in any way they wish.

This Saturday, June 3rd is National Health and Fitness Day across Canada. Here are some activities you can participate in to mark the day!

  • Walk or bike in the park for a bit of fresh air
  • Play a casual game of your favourite sport with friends and family like soccer, volleyball or basketball
  • Go for a run to get your blood pumping – outside or even at the gym
  • Check out your local community centres for fitness classes that you can start attending to build healthy habits

Even if you’re not regularly active, you can use this day as a great starting point to start adding small amount of physical activity into your routine. It is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases like:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

Celebrate National Health and Fitness Day and start moving! You’ll see that over time, every step in the right direction will improve your overall sense of well-being by reducing the effects of stress, increasing energy and contributing to positive mental health.

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