Put some Spring in your Step!

Happy Equinox, the official start to Spring is here. While some folks have been battling freezing temperatures or torrential rains to keep active through the winter, many are just starting to come out of winter hibernation. I found myself losing impetus for movement through November and December and joined a Sun Run clinic out of my neighbourhood community centre in January. There were some rainy, windy, dark nights, but I found the companionship of the group got my running shoes on and out the door.

Similarly, participating in team sports, such as soccer, can keep people active over the winter months. My children are both involved in soccer, here in the Lower Mainland, which starts in September and ends with the first sunshine in March. They were both out there in all-weather to support their team. But as Spring Break in Vancouver has started with rainy days, that impetus to get outside seems to have stalled for them. And that’s a common problem.

But a lot of the solutions to this lack of motivation can be found locally – through recreation infrastructure – including parks, trails, playground, swimming pools, ice rinks and community centres.

For those of us in larger communities, the recreation centres are the backbone of not only our recreational pursuits, but our communities. They provide opportunities for kids of all ages on rainy days, to play basketball, ball hockey, swim or skate, but the investment needed to maintain them is not keeping up with the demand.

68% of our indoor recreation infrastructure is over 25 years old. Creating and improving places for physical activity can increase the number of people who are physically active at least three times per week by 25%. BC Alliance for Healthy Living wants to see a strategy to get BC moving!

For those in small communities that don’t have a centre nearby, the need for a physical activity strategy may be even more important. And those trails and playgrounds even more critical.

So ask your local candidate in the upcoming election what their plan is to get BC moving – they may surprise you with their great ideas, or you might point them in the direction of a solution.

Samantha Hartley-Folz
March 21, 2013

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