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Canadians receive a D on physical fitness report card

Canadian adults are close to a failing grade when it comes to being active and youth aren’t much better.

ParticipACTION is a national not for profit organization with a goal to promote healthy living and physical fitness.

The organization recently released its first-ever report card on activity levels among Canadians. According to a release from Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, adults received a D and youth got a D+.

“We know people at all ages and stages of life face challenges from sitting too long or spending too much time in front of screens,” said a health promoter with the health unit Lisa Kaldeway. “That said, there are many good reasons – and resources available – to help us change our lifestyles so we sit less… and sweat, step and stretch more each day.”

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Kaldaway suggested making every minute of the day count. She said families looking to be more active can trying the newly-developed 24 Hour Movement Guidelines. She said there are two versions, one for children four-years-old and under and another for those up to 17.

Both are available on ParticipACTION’s Build Your Best Day website. The idea is to balance sitting, being active and getting enough sleep. Fact sheets, activity posters and games are just some of the resources available on the portal.

Kaldaway added the best reason to stay physically active are the health benefits for both the body and mind. “Specifically, physical activity is known to support healthy growth and development in children,” the health promoter said in the release. “It also gives us more energy, decreases stress, makes us stronger and prolongs independence as we age. Being active can also reduce our risk of certain chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.”

She added that adults and seniors 65 or older can also discover age-specific resources for themselves on the website. “Being active is good for our health, no matter what our age,” Kaldaway said in the release. “It’s important that we not overdo it, but instead build up slowly to reach an activity level that is comfortable and appropriate for us.”

Written by Greg Higgins

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