Docs encourage local youth to be more active

The benefits go far beyond health to virtually every aspect of their lives

Local physicians want to help District 69 elementary students be more active.

The local Division of Family Practice is promoting the BC Medical Association’s (BCMA) Be Active Everyday program to help school age children become — and stay — more active.

Doctors are coordinating with their local schools and challenging all students to do an hour of physical activity every day from April 10 to May 10 – International Move for Health Day.

The activity can be anything from walking to and from school, riding bikes, swimming, playing in the gym or schoolyard and even being active with a Wii video game. Children can log their activity online, set goals and win a prize.

Local organizer Dr. Satish Desai said he has spoken with all the local principals and five of the nine elementary schools will formally participate.

He said a highlight for the kids will likely be messages of support broadcast by a special celebrity supporter — astronaut and BCMA member Dr. Robert Thirsk will beam messages from the NASA base in Houston, Texas throughout the event.

The doctors will start kids on their challenge, provide support throughout and celebrate their final achievements on Move for Health Day at the end.

The hope is that having a doctor lead students will make a lasting impact and help them turn healthy choices into healthy habits.

Local doctors formed the Oceanside Division of Family Practice in 2010 and that group formed a Physicians Advocating Wellness for Oceanside Residents group (Pawor).

The Pawor group took on the BCMA initiative knowing chronic health issues are increasing in the general population and the best way to reverse the trend is to educate children and advocate the lifetime benefits of an active lifestyle with healthy eating and fluid intake.

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