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Why are North Van residents the most active in the Lower Mainland?
A recent poll by Ipsos-Reid shows North Vancouverites are the most active in the Lower Mainland, and the help of North Vancouver community recreation centres might be to thank.
With 13 community centres and five pools, including Karen Magnussen’s popular wave pool, North Vancouver residents have plenty of options when it comes to getting out and getting active.
“[We try] to provide programming that supports people to be on trails and be on their bikes,” said North Vancouver Recreation Commission spokesperson Cathy Matheson, emphasizing the importance of blending together outdoor and indoor physical activity.
“We are always looking at the new trends in terms of fitness,” she added.
Among some of the many programs offered, yoga and aquatic classes are at the top of the demand list.
With tons of parks, trails and green spaces, the North Shore attracts active residents, Matheson said.
“People are attracted to living on the North Shore because of what it offers,” she said.
The three mountains on the North Shore also offer year-round exercise, including the Grouse Grind and winter equivalent, the snowshoe Grind. Each of the mountains offers a shuttle bus during the winter for easy access.
West Vancouver residents have plenty of options too; the West Vancouver Community Centre and Aquatic Centre are hubs for athletic and social bonding with an equally dazzling array of programs and drop-in classes to choose from.
With community rec centre memberships that cost less than most private gyms — under $60 a month for adults and just under $45 for youth and seniors — these centres seem like a good alternative for residents that don’t want to break the bank but still want a variety of fitness and other classes to choose from.
North Vancouver recreation centres also offer the help of personal trainers if you need a little extra guidance with your health for an additional cost.
Not only for getting in shape, many community centres on the North Shore also offer art and other courses, providing enrichment for “the whole person,” Matheson pointed out.
For example, Delbrook Rec Centre has pottery and dance studios.
One area that North Van Rec wants to improve on is their education around nutrition and diet. “Nutrition [is] at the top of the list,” said Matheson. “There’s more emphasis in schools around healthy lifestyles.”