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    Categories: Health & Wellness

Health Monitor

The St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network wants residents to get active, by taking a virtual trek around Costa Rica.

The six-week challenge, called Get Out and Get Active, invites participants to increase their level of daily physical activity by logging their steps, gym sessions, tennis matches into a log that tracks how far you’ve travelled across the Central American country.

The trek starts at the Irazu Volcano and has three different finish lines: Jaco for beginners (177 km worth of physical activity), Palmar Sur for intermediate (465 km) and Buenos Aires for advanced (660 km).

Participants have the chance to win prizes, but most importantly, they lower their risk of chronic health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems, as well as the risk of stroke, colon cancer and premature death.

“One of the problems is we’ve become more sedentary and that’s increasing our risk for chronic disease,” said Heather Neuman, clinic manager at the SASPCN, who got involved in marathon walking in her 50s as a way to stay healthy into her senior years.

While the campaign really promotes walking, since it’s the most accessible form of physical activity, getting active is what counts, whether through a bike ride, a run or a walk.

“When we think of exercise, people think I have to go to the gym, I have to sweat, I have to run, but just increasing our daily activity – moving every 20 minutes is a health benefit. So what we’re promoting with Get Out and Get Active is the number of steps per day,” said Neuman.

The Get Out and Get Active campaign launches Monday with a 30-minute community walk at 12:15 p.m. at the Lions Park in St. Albert. Community walks will take place over the next six weeks.

For more information visit: getoutgetactivepcn.com.

As part of National Organ and Tissue Donations Awareness Week, Albertans were invited to register as donors.

There are more than 600 Albertans waiting for an organ transplant and more waiting for tissues.

One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 other people.

If you wish to become an organ donor, or be an organ and/or tissue donor, talk about your wishes with your family and access the online Organ and Tissue Donation Registry to record your choices.

For more information visit: ultimategiftalberta.ca.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.