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Do One Thing...Help Build Active, Healthy Communities

Are there things in your community that you want changed? The slushies’ served at your recreation centre? The rundown and dangerous (or lack of) playgrounds in your neighbourhood? The candy rewards that your child receives at school for good behaviour and grades? The lack of sidewalks on busy streets around schools?  Do you have a vision for a new skate park, pickle balls courts or a bike path?
 
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get involved.
 
Advocacy:
The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/advocacy)
 
Simply said, advocacy is taking action, supporting or fighting for a change that you want to see happen.
 
Take the initiative – be an advocate for changes that you want to see in the places you live, work, learn and play.  You can make a difference!
 
The issues  
Over the last couple of decades, much has changed in our homes and communities.  We have re-designed our lives and our communities for convenience.  Gone are the days when streets were filled with kids playing street hockey and the family dinner table was where we shared our day’s events. Communities are designed for cars rather than people and we are sedentary for much of the day.  Busy lifestyles are making it more difficult to prepare meals and sit down to eat together and it is hard to find the time to be active.
 
Healthy eating and physical activity are two of the core lifestyle behaviours that shape our health - yet making healthy food choices and finding time to be active continue to be difficult.  Decisions are influenced many factors – learn more about them in our video: Let's Start A Conversation About Health....And Not Talk About Health Care At All
 
Traditionally, the individual is blamed for not making healthy lifestyle choices, but in reality the environments and communities in which we live have become a barrier to making healthy choices. We need to create supportive environments so that the onus is not solely placed on us, the individuals, to consistently resist an unhealthy food or activity in order to maintain long-term health.
 
We need create healthy, active communities that provide surroundings and conditions that foster good health and support healthy choices.  You can do it. We can help.
 
How?
1.  Get Inspired and imagine for a moment...
  • a community where walking is fun, safe and efficient
  • a workplace that offers healthy options at all meetings and events all the time
  • a recreation centre canteen loaded with veggies, fruits and whole grains instead of sugar and deep fried food.
2.  Get Informed... 

How we plan and build our communities makes a difference in how active and healthy food choices is easier when healthy food choices are available and affordable.

  • Educate yourself on the issues in your community
  • Know your audience - find out about local priorities, political positions on the issue and be prepared to engage them in an informed way.
  • Partner up with people and groups who feel the same way.

 3.  Get Involved and Take Action...