Fitness promoted on the North Shore
People living on the North Shore are lucky to have hiking and bike trails, the ocean and plenty of walking paths all within minutes of their homes.
That’s a message John Weston, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, is trying to get across with “National Health and Fitness Day,” a private member’s bill that would dedicated the first Saturday in June to making Canadians more fit and healthy.
“We have a unique vantage point based on where we live,” Weston told The Outlook, adding that he regularly gets outdoors to exercise, be it running, swimming or biking. “I rode up Cypress yesterday — great mountain ride. I felt so grateful to be in this part of the world.”
The bill would promote healthy living by encouraging recreational facilities to open for free on National Fitness Day.
Weston hopes this will help reverse Canada’s growing trend of inactivity, which cost $4.3 billion last year for health care relating to diabetes, cardiovascular problems and other related problems.
“We should be aiming to be the fittest nation on Earth,” said Weston, adding that all 12 municipalities in his riding have endorsed the bill.
How does Weston suggest North Shore residents get active?
- Join a running group: The North Shore has running groups for all skill levels, from beginners to seniors to those who are training for ultra-marathons. The Capilano Eagles Running Club, for example, meets every Tuesday to run training routes in Edgemont Village, Pemberton Heights and Handsworth secondary school area.
- Go to the gym: Joining a fitness club can be an easy way to get motivated and stay with a workout routine. North Shore community centers have small, casual groups to join, such as West Van Community Centre’s Fit-fellows, a group just for men. Members range from 55 to 94 years old.
- n Get in the water: The West Van Aquatic Centre is “one of the loveliest you’ll find,” said Weston, adding that swimming is one of the best ways to get in shape. North Van also has places to swim, including a wave pool at Karen Magnussen Rec Centre.
- Enjoy the trails: The North Shore Spirit Trail, which will eventually connect Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay, is one of Weston’s favourite places to ride his bike and walk. He also suggests heading out on one of the mountain trails in North and West Van.