Friday, June 14, 2024

West Vancouver health forum puts fitness in focus

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The Canadian Health and Fitness Institute aims to make Canada the fittest nation on Earth by 2030

A pioneering health forum hosted by the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute wraps up today with a presentation entitled How to Get Youth Active in a Digital World taking place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Sentinel Secondary’s theatre in West Vancouver.

The session completes a series of events that included Walk with your Doc and How Active Living Reduces Acute Care and Chronic Illness held Saturday at Park Royal. Distinguished health and wellness professionals, celebrated athletes, and musical performers came together for the event, including the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity; Madison Mailey, Olympic gold medalist; Mathieu Roy, CEO of Trans Canada Trail; and Shari Ulrich, Juno-award-winning musician.  

“The health care system focuses almost exclusively on fixing problems after they arise,” said Dr. Jack Taunton, a founding Director of CHFI, co-founder of sport medicine in Canada, and the originator of the Vancouver Sun Run.

“By promoting mental, physical, and spiritual health – by expanding people’s health span, not just their lifespan – we aim to stem the rising tide of screen addiction, sedentary behaviour, obesity, diabetes, cardio disease, loneliness, mental illness, substance abuse, and unnecessary sickness care costs,” he added.

“I’m especially pleased that Canada’s first-ever Minister of Physical Activity, Carla Qualtrough, will speak at the National Forum on Health and Fitness,” said John Weston, CHFI’s president.

Along with then Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Weston launched the bill that formalized the first Saturday in June each year as National Health and Fitness Day, which this year falls on June 1.

“It’s essential that we find innovative approaches to enhance and inspire physical and mental health in our communities,” said Mayor Mark Sager of West Vancouver. “The knowledge and energy that will be shared at this Forum will benefit everyone in West Vancouver, the North Shore, Metro Vancouver, and throughout Canada. We’re thrilled to share our community with all Canadians.”

The National Forum, organized by the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute (CHFI), supports the Let’s Move Canada Challenge, which launched on June 1. From June 1 to June 21, CHFI and its partner the Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle invite all Canadians collectively to produce more than 500,000 hours of healthy physical activity, a gain of 100,000 hours over last year. People participate by downloading the Strava App, then joining the Let’s Move Canada 2024 Challenge. Participants can send photos or tag @letsmovecanada. They can also win an iPad by entering a draw. CHFI, a national charitable foundation, has the stated goal of making Canada the fittest nation on Earth by 2030. 

Attendance at today’s event is free, and seating is limited. For full event and contest details, visit

Fatemeh Falah is an intern reporter with the North Shore News. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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