Friday, March 25, 2011

Newcomers and Physical Activity

Part of being Canadian means not only engaging in a healthy life style, but participating in some sort of physical activity. And there is no better place to do this than the vast and great outdoors of this country. There are parts of Canada that literally beg you to be outside, while there are others where the scenery may be more of the concrete persuasion, but the experience and outcome can definitely be the same.

Getting Canadians to be active is a key focus these days. However, newcomers to Canada sometimes find it difficult to become involved for a variety of reasons. Perhaps their customs don’t support it, or there is a lack of social support, or they need to spend more time getting settled into their new environment because some things are just more important. It also helps if communities recognize that their city or town needs to have recreational facilities for people to play games and participate in a variety of activities, have groups to join where new friends can be made, and the communications outreach to make sure everyone is invited and welcomed. When newcomers to Canada become involved in social and physical activities, they integrate faster and deeper with the whole community and all Canadians become healthier with a general overall sense of well-being.

There are many reasons why having an active lifestyle is a benefit to a Canadian’s life. Physical activity can be organized or as simple as walking the dog, riding a bike to the store or a day digging in the garden. The good news is that it all counts. Whatever the barriers faced by newcomers, there are ways to overcome them. But first, there has to be the motivation to get out of the house. From walking, running and hiking to skating, hockey or tennis – it just doesn’t matter how you are active. A lot or a little, the important thing is to get moving.

Related Resources:
Healthy Alberta
Public Health Agency of Canada

For more information about physical activity contact SIRC!

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