Getting active

Winter may be fine for a few months, but as we all know in Central Alberta, by the time spring comes around we are more than ready to shed the warm clothes, enjoy the sun and (hopefully) a few pleasant summer months.

This weekend, there will be some family-friendly activities at the Family Amazing Race event hosted by Red Deer College’s Be Fit for Life Centre. It runs at Bower Ponds on Saturday, with things getting underway at 1 p.m.

It’s a great activity for families, and one of the most important goals of the day organizers say is to encourage higher activity levels among families and children.

That’s an extremely important aim, as a recent report points to climbing obesity rates amongst citizens in this country.

According to a University of British Columbia study, overall obesity rates across Canada have “climbed to historic highs since 2002.” It seems like this is something health officials have been sounding the alarm about for quite some time, but obviously the message isn’t getting through.

And it’s too serious a message not to tune into, with obesity often leading to severe health issues such as diabetes and stroke.

According to the study, in 2003, 22.3% of the population was estimated to be obese, and that percentage has climbed to an average of 25.3%.

Those behind the study did point out that rates were relatively stable from 2008 to 2011, but they are still going up. The UBC study backs up what was found in a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which found that one in four people are obese in Canada.

And it’s not just here at home. According to that report, obesity continues to rise in nations where high-caloric intake and sedentary behaviour is highest.

Officials also point out that it doesn’t take much in the way of smarter eating and boosting activity to make a real difference. And the time to instill those kinds of habits is when the citizens of this country are in their youth.

Children should be encouraged to play, be active and be steered away from countless hours in front of the TV or computer screens.

Obviously, we all should be encouraged to get off the couch and get outside. No one is saying gym membership is an absolute must. But even an after-dinner walk can make a profound difference.

Exercise has multiple benefits from helping to control weight to lower blood pressure to helping keep cholesterol levels in check to improving mood and cutting stress.

This is why events like what is planned for this Saturday at Bower Ponds are so essential. If we can just make getting active a bit more of a habit, we are well on our way to enjoying the plentiful benefits that come right along with it.

Just Posted

Motown Soul celebrates ‘greats’ of classic era

Show pays tribute to Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye among others

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

Check online to make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming provincial election

Advance polls open Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th

UPDATE: Christy Starling has been found

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Most Read