The Active Elgin Physical Activity Challenge is on! January and February have flown by and if your New Year’s resolution to get more active didn’t quite pan out, taking part in The Challenge may be the perfect way for you to 'March' into a more active lifestyle for 2016. And even if you are just looking for some fresh inspiration, it might help you 'get your move on' with renewed purpose.
Everyone in St. Thomas and Elgin County is invited to set a goal, get moving and track their minutes of physical activity from February 22nd to March 20th. The Physical Activity Challenge is part of a line-up of late winter-early spring initiatives designed to:
- get people thinking about the health benefits of regular activity for themselves and their families
- encourage residents to discover diverse opportunities for active living available to us
- create new opportunities (There's been an outdoor ice rink program, cross-country skiing at Dan Patterson pilot project, and sponsorship of free skate and swim times during March Break)
- provide practical suggestions to get active (check out the Boredom Busters at www.activeelgin.ca)
- offer some fun incentives and ways to get the whole family involved
The challenge is open to all ages – active living is important at any stage of life and adults can be role models who help create a community culture of healthy living.
Through the challenge we want to remind families that there are so many ways to get daily physical activity. It doesn’t have to be through organized sports or a membership to a gym. Playing with the kids outside, building a snow fort, or taking a hike a through the woods are all great ways to enjoy the outdoors and get moving!
Laura Crandall, Health Promoter at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health
It's Your Move - Five Ways to Participate in The Challenge
- Track your minutes at www.activeelgin.ca. You can start anytime. Register and then log-in daily to enter your minutes. Everyone in the family can take part and see their results over time. (First 80 families to register for the Challenge will receive a free family swim pass to the St. Thomas YMCA). Tracking sheets are also available for pick-up and drop-off at the St. Thomas Public Library and Elgin County Library Branches.
- Share your moves! Post a photo on Facebook or Twitter using #activeelgin. There will be a weekly prize (a package filled with physical activity equipment and a $50 gift certificate to Paul’s Bike Repair and Sports Exchange). Participants will also automatically be entered into a draw for some additional prizes at the end of the Challenge.
- Try some Boredom Busters! You could use some of them to plan an active March Break staycation. Find them here: www.activeelgin.ca/sites/default/files/WinterBoredomBusters.pdf
- Enjoy free skate and swim times (see below).
- Seize the season! March is always a surprise. If winter blows back in, be sure to check out a community outdoor ice rink if there is one near you (Dutton, Talbotville, Shedden & Straffordville). Or try out the Cross-Country Skiing Pilot Project at Dan Patterson Conservation Area. Cross-country skiers will be allowed to ski there without a permit until March 31st.
Being active for at least sixty minutes a day helps children be healthier and stronger. Adults should aim for 2.5 hours per week for health benefits. Find out more about the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines at www.activeelgin.ca.
The Active Elgin Physical Activity Challenge is part of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Our community is one of 45 across Ontario taking part in the initiative which unites Ontario communities with a common goal of promoting children’s health through physical activity and healthy eating. To learn more, visit http://www.activeelgin.ca and www.facebook.com/ESTPH/