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GIFTS THAT GO

- Health Unit Offers Five Wise Buys this Holiday Season to Get People Up and Active -

Want to get a ‘moving’ gift for someone this holiday season? Here are some gift ideas to encourage people to get active, but that won’t break the bank in the process.

Gifts that encourage physical activity can have many benefits beyond just helping people stay healthy, says Heather Grundy, a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but there are many other pluses,” Grundy says. “Being active brings plenty of fun and enjoyment, especially when you can spend time with loved ones trying out a new activity or rediscovering something you may have not done for long time.”

The five gifts ideas suggested by the Health Unit to spur on physical activity include:

• Stocking up on some reasonably-priced stocking stuffers. Skipping ropes, basketballs, yo-yos, yoga mats, swimming goggles, pedometers, bike helmets, hockey sticks, weights, and flex bands are all affordable options that can motivate people to get moving. For older residents, walking poles can be a good buy.

• Hitting the trail with a set of new or used snowshoes. Snowshoeing is a great family pastime and ideal for exploring new ground on local trails that are free and accessible. Snowshoeing can also help to build strength, agility, balance and endurance. If cost is an issue, look for used snowshoes that may be available through second-hand sports equipment stores or websites.

• Providing head protection with a new, age-appropriate and proper-fitting helmet. Sports such as hockey, skiing and snowboarding require helmets, so if a loved one is involved in these activities, a new helmet is a sensible gift option that promotes safety. Wearing a ski/snowboarding helmet is also appropriate for other winter sports such as tobogganing. To find out what helmets are appropriate for which sport, visit Parachute Canada.

• Making time for active time. Being active with family and loved ones is a fantastic way to spend quality time together and have fun. To wrap it up, create a coupon book that lists some fun activities to do together, including tobogganing, cross-country skiing, building a snowman, having a friendly snowball fight, or skating (with many places offering free skating times during the holidays, see what is available in your community).

• Donating funds to a local agency or sports association that provides free or low-cost recreation programs in the area. In Northumberland County, the local chapter of Kid Sport and Jumpstart provide support and funding for families to offset the costs of sports equipment and registration fees. In the City of Kawartha Lakes, Jumpstart and the Boys and Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes help to provide support and funding for families to offset the costs of sports equipment and registration fees. There are also many other local sports organizations that welcome financial donations to support access to recreation in the area.

“When you give ‘active’ gifts that get people moving, you are showing others that you care about their well-being and want them to look after themselves,” says Grundy. “It is a great way to wrap up your love for someone.”

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For media inquiries, contact:

Heather Grundy, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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