National Health & Fitness Day
I was encouraged to read this past week about how a number of MPs on Parliament Hill are rallying around the idea of a National Health and Fitness Day.
This is of course near and dear to my heart and the hearts of the entire Free Form Fitness team. In 2010, we created the first National Capital Fit Day in Ottawa. It was a modest affair, but attracted so much public interest we had to turn people away.
Over the next two years, we substantially expanded the event to accommodate more people. I followed the advice of one of my mentors: “If you are going to set a goal, set a goal so big it’s going to blow your mind if you achieve it.”
We wanted to avoid the kind of linear event that focuses only nutrition, or on a specific sport. With the tagline of “Watch. Learn. Compete.” attendees could learn about a variety of different physical activities and sports, acquire basic knowledge about what constitutes proper fitness and nutrition, and learn how to incorporate these into their daily lives.
Our goal with National Capital Fit Day was to make it clear to everyone in Canada that this was the day of fitness in Ottawa. We wanted to build something that has the potential to become a national movement.
But we can’t do this alone. Improving the health, fitness and lifestyle habits of Canadians is an ambitious and worthy goal that requires our community and political leaders to work together and complement each other’s efforts. I applaud the work of Senator and former Olympian Nancy Greene Raine to create a National Health and Fitness Day that will put these issues in the spotlight and foster a desperately needed change in our society.
In a story this week at CBC.ca, Raine talks about how she has been motivated by the fact that one in three children in Canada is either overweight or obese. “The long-term goal is for Canada to be the healthiest, fittest nation in the world,” she told the CBC. “We have to target that. Why should we target having all our kids get chubby and fat?
“Chubby is the new normal? That’s crazy.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Here’s another great CTV segment, this one featuring actor Mario Lopez from our 2012 Fit Day.