Honour Your Health Challenge

For the past eleven years SportMedBC has been overseeing the implementation of their InTraining run/walk clinics in association with The Vancouver Sun Run at over 65 recreation and fitness centres throughout British Columbia. The program has successfully encouraged thousands of previously sedentary individuals to adopt a regular exercise program. Additionally, the InTraining format includes a strong focus on leadership development with many former program participants now leading groups within the program.

Recently, SportMedBC has expanded the success of their run/walk clinics creating the Aboriginal InTraining program also known as the Honour Your Health Challenge.  This new program hopes to improve the health and fitness of members of the aboriginal communities in British Columbia by creating and implementing a comprehensive walk/run strategy that will provide province-wide opportunities for participation and leadership from now through 2010.

InTraining Clinics – (UBC and Penticton)
Thus far, the Aboriginal InTraining Clinics have been very successful. Starting the weekend of January 13th, we launched two InTraining clinics in association with InTraining for the 2007 Vancouver Sun Run. Each clinic has a clinic coordinator responsible for the overall management of the clinic, and the recruiting of volunteer leaders to help with the program. Leader training was conducted in January, along with CPR training for these volunteers. Program leaders also received additional resources (New Balance shoes, socks, water bottle and a HYHC InTraining jacket). UBC has 21 participants and 6 leaders, Penticton has 20 participants and 5 leaders. We incorporated our existing InTraining model and provided enhanced participant resources (New Balance running shoes, socks and water bottles) and training.  A series of speakers provided clinic participants with additional health and lifestyle information that builds on existing resources available in the community – tobacco cessation, diabetes prevention, diet and lifestyle issues, etc.

Hearts-in-Training Program – (UBC and Penticton)
Registration in the hearts-in-training program was also included for all clinic participants and program leaders. This program includes PRE and POST screening for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, height, weight, waist girth and physical activity levels. Program participants receive the PRE screening in the first two weeks of the InTraining Program, and then again after the Sun Run in late April. Results are available immediately to participants, and consultation with Cardiac Nurses, Dietitians and Exercise Physiologists is offered to those at high risk, and those that are interested in receiving more information.

InTraining  Online
Over 300 Aboriginal community members registered for the online training community that provided opportunities province-wide for individuals or groups to follow the 10K InTraining program, receive weekly coaching advice and motivation, and have unlimited access to a variety of educational resources related to running, health and fitness for the duration of the program.  Throughout the 13-week training program, we have incorporated our team of expert advisors providing advice on diet, injury prevention, and motivation.  The online training program will allow potential leaders and clinic coordinators to be identified and become familiar with the training and expectations of the program with the view to becoming leaders and/or coordinators as the clinic program expands to other communities in 2008.

HYHC Sun Run Corporate Team All Sun Run InTraining clinic and online program participants and leaders will also be registered as members of the corporate team in the 2007 Vancouver Sun Run. Currently 200 participants are signed up for the event, and we are providing accommodation travel subsidies for those that have committed to the 13 week program, and are in need of assistance to make it to the Sun Run. 

Vision for the Future
To create a 3-year strategic plan leading up to 2010 that will detail a series of structured opportunities for members of the Aboriginal communities in British Columbia to improve their physical fitness and reduce their risk factors for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. This plan will also include developing opportunities around the North American Indigenous Games which will take place in Cowichan on 2008 on Vancouver Island, and other events that promote active, healthy lifestyles.

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