BY KALISHA MENDONSA
It can be difficult sometimes to stay active during the winter season, but with New Year’s resolutions to follow, a little incentive might help to keep up.
The City of Lacombe’s Winter Active Challenge could be the key to keeping those fitness goals steady after the first month of the New Year. The challenge begins Jan. 30th and runs for three weeks, to Feb. 21st, with prizes each week to help teams reach their goal of a collective 17.5 hours of fitness.
That number might sound intimidating, but the challenge is a mere 30 minutes of exercise each day. Teams of five people are formed, with a team lead to keep track of the totals that qualify the teams for weekly draw prizes. Teams must be registered by Jan. 27th and can be registered online at lacombe.ca/living under the Recreation and Culture, Choosewell tabs.
“The entire point of the program is to get people into a daily habit of activity. The logic is that generally speaking, it takes 21 days to form a habit, so we’re hoping people can take the challenge and that it’ll help them to build that habit up in a fun way,” said Sonya Beauclair of the Recreation and Culture department.
“People also can do it in a way where it’s not 30 minutes at once. They can do a 10-minute walk on their coffee break, park on the far side of a parking lot and walk the extra minute. Anything that gets your heart rate up technically counts, so that could even be a power clean around the house, or shovelling your neighbour’s sidewalk. It all adds up.”
Beauclair said this is the perfect time for people to take advantage of the City’s Find the Right Fit program as well, as it allows people to try out a variety of fitness activities for free.
Find the Right Fit would allow citizens to try out activities like yoga, spin classes, CrossFit, Pound! Fitness and more, engaging them in the Winter Active Challenge at the same time.
She said this way, people can still get active but might not have to get cold while doing so.
“The Winter Active Challenge is designed to get people moving in the middle of winter when it can be hard to be motivated to stay active,” Beauclair explained.
“It’s tough to want to go outside and stay active, but it’s part of the challenge. People can bundle this with Find the Right Fit, which keeps them active but indoors. If you want to be brave, there are always outdoor activities like snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing, or even simple tasks like shovelling yours or your neighbour’s driveway.”
Prizes have been donated for the weekly draws but Beauclair said she is still seeking some donations of prizes from local businesses. If interested in donating or sponsoring a prize for the challenge, contact Beauclair via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 403-782-1267.
There are weekly prize draws, as well as a Grand Prize Draw for teams that have accumulated a total of 52.5 hours, meaning each week must have a minimum of 17.5 hours.
Winners will be contacted by phone or email.
All registration information can be found on the lacombe.ca web site.
“This program has awesome participation. Each year, we have tons of teams, usually around 50 or so, and that seems to grow all the time, which makes me happy to see,” Beauclair said.
“We want to break all of our records and have even more people registered this year, so we have some great prizes on the way to encourage people to try it out.”