As you have no doubt heard by now, Canada has a very special day coming up. On July 1st, 1867, we officially became a country, and our 150th birthday is almost upon us. There are many creative and fun celebrations planned from coast-to-coast, but one of the most ambitious is Participaction 150.
Participaction: Canada’s Health Program
Established in 1971, Participaction is a federally funded initiative that encourages Canadians to exercise and think about their overall health. The program became quite well-known, thanks to its many creative TV spots, the most famous of which pointed out that the average sixty-year-old Swede was in better shape than a Canadian half that age.
After a period of inactivity, Participaction returned in 2007 and we need it more than ever. According to the Heart and Stoke Foundation of Canada, 60% of Canadians and 25% of Canadian children are overweight. People say time is a factor preventing them from sufficient exercise, but there is also the fact that it often cannot compete with activities that require less effort and offer more fun. Organizers of Participaction 150 hope to change that attitude by introducing Canadians to many healthy activities that they might not know.
The Participaction 150 Play List
In preparation for this ambitious project, Participaction consulted with Canadians about what to include. Tabulating the votes of a half million participants, the organization chose 150 activities and challenged Canadians to partake in as many of them as possible.
It’s a wonderful plan because it offers a way to celebrate this Canada milestone in a manner that is good for everyone. Canadians can also have the opportunity to try things that they either might not have considered or would not normally have available in their area.
What Would You Like to Try?
With this being a list inspired by Canadian traditions, some of the choices are obvious: curling, dog sledding, downhill skiing, the polar bear dip, fishing, 5-pin bowling, snow fort building, and, of course, hockey (which is #99 on the list in honour of a certain Edmonton Oilers player). An honorary position goes to basketball because, as we covered here recently, it was actually invented by a Canadian!
There are also activities that the typical Canuck can enjoy regularly, such as running, softball, golf, cycling, football, billiards, gymnastics, and Tai Chi. However, it is the less obvious entries that can provide the most excitement and adventure.
Feeling Bold? Here’s Your Chance!
Sure, you enjoy going for the occasional dip at the cottage, but have you tried water polo? How about paddle boarding, synchronized swimming, aquafit, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, or white-water rafting?
More interested in getting that workout on dry land? Perhaps archery, fencing, hula hooping, Pilates, squash, cricket, broomball, potato sack racing, or shuffleboard?
Really want to test your limits? There is always boxing, roller derby, rock climbing, tree climbing, wrestling, the triathlon, or the Inuit tradition of knuckle hopping (ouch!). The possibilities really are numerous. You can find the complete 150 Play List here.
Physical benefits are not the only plus; through tracking your accomplishments online, partakers receive entries that give them the chance to win trips, vehicles, and more. See? Fitness is not always its own reward!
Continue Your New Passion
Did Participaction 150 introduce you to an activity that has now become a personal favourite? Some of these are tough to enjoy during the winter months…that is, unless you have an air-supported dome in the area. Domes allow for a number of Participaction 150 selections, like soccer, tennis, football, lacrosse, golf, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, badminton, basketball, and even Quidditch, at any time of the year in climate-controlled comfort with absolutely no worries about the weather.
Whatever activities you decide upon, be sure to do them regularly. Maintaining your health depends on spending at least 30 minutes per day on the move. Domes help to ensure that venues for many different activities are accessible all year round.