“Let’s Get Active” And Live Healthier Lifestyles

Published on March 19, 2020

The March MPP column in Community Voice  

Once a mom, always a mom. I suppose you can say that for being a family physician as well.

I am concerned about just how little physical activity our children and young adults get these days. That is why I have launched a new community initiative designed to urge young people to become more physically active. I hope to raise greater awareness in Kanata and West Carleton about the many health benefits of being active. I also want to encourage our youth to get up, get out, and get going!

Throughout my career in medicine, I have always stressed the significance of physical activity as the essential element to a person’s good health. We all need to be more active. This is especially important for young people whose bodies and minds are developing. Physical activity strengthens the body and mind. Being active is more significant today than at any time in our history because of our sedentary lifestyle and computer culture.

Earlier this month I released an introductory paper Let’s Get Active that talks about a person’s health and physical activity. I want to begin the discussion with Kanata-Carleton residents about the multiple positive health benefits that lead to better physical, mental, and social wellbeing. You will read in the paper my objectives to get youth active in sports and recreational activities so that they will develop healthy lifelong habits regarding physical activity.

An important point of this discussion is to identify exactly what “physical activity” means for children and young adults. It is not exclusively joining sports teams or registering in some organized activity – although these outlets are good. A person can get active with regularly walking, jogging, riding a bike, swimming, skiing, going for hikes, paddling a canoe, lifting weights… and just making more time for “play”. This is all great for your health.

With my initiative “Let’s Get Active,” I will be working with local community and youth organizations – and with youth directly to:    

  • raise greater awareness of the benefits of physical activity by sharing news and information with community leaders and youth organizations
  • promote physical activities on social media by introducing a new #OttawaGetActive awareness campaign
  • profile youth stories and shine a light on individuals who will share their experiences on how physical activity has made a difference in their lives

For those who would like to participate in this initiative, please contact my Community Office. I welcome everyone who would like to contribute. I am looking forward to getting the word out in our community and getting our young people more active. This is an important discussion and I hope young adults will think more about establishing healthy lifestyles where physical activity is a routine part of their day. So, “Let’s Get Active!”  


Link to the introductory paper "Let's Get Active!"