Islanders encouraged to get active with new $460K campaign

A new program run through Recreation P.E.I. is getting $460,000 from the federal government over two years.

The Go For It initiative, part of the Go P.E.I. program, aims to increase levels of physical activity in adults and seniors on P.E.I. 

"Over the next two years the Go For It initiative will support over 500 adult Islanders to become physically active," said John Morrison, director of health and wellness, sport, recreation and physical activity for the province.

Participants of the program will receive plans that will introduce physical activity into their daily routines slowly and safely, said Morrison.  

Personalized weekly walking plans will be given to participants and educational sessions by experts on healthy living practices will also be available for people in the program. 

Break down barriers

Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown, said the program is important for a number of reasons.

"First and foremost is people's general well-being, I mean this is a good thing for your health, it's a good thing for your mental health," he said.

When more people live active lifestyles, it helps to reduce the burden on the health-care system, Casey said. 

The goal of the program is to address the barriers some people face when trying to become more active. The program is specifically designed for Islanders with mobility challenges and health challenges that contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, he said. 

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"Access to facilities and financial restrictions can be significant roadblocks and this initiative aims to break down those barriers. Through positive social encouragement, we hope that the decision to become active becomes easier," Casey said. 

While targeted toward adults and older Islanders, there is no age requirement to participate in the free program.

According to the federal government, at least eight out of 10 adults and two out of three children and youth do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. 

It recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week. 

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