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Exercise and Fitness Activities (4 activity ideas)

Here are four examples of exercise and fitness activities you can run in your community. The purpose of these activities are to promote physical activity, to improve balance, mobility, strength in a motivating  environment alone and/or in group settings. See below for examples of exercise and fitness activities you can implement in your setting!

Materials, Resources and People Needed for the Activities:
  1. Challenge yourself to move

 View Resource

By Ontario Brain Institute: This exercise planner could be used in the context of physical activity and fall prevention classes as a home assignment to regularly engage in physical activity that is being defined by the adult, older adult and/or caregiver.  If used in a group context such as classes, workshops, community meetings, the facilitators could request a feedback group discussion after one or two weeks to discuss obstacles, successes, ideas in engaging in physical activity.

Costs:   Printing costs if you distribute the planner to event participants.

Timeline may vary depending on the event in which this activity is taking place.

2. Flash mob:

 View Resource

 By Fraser Health:  This video provides ideas of flash mobs in different settings from residences to community settings such as pools with older adults of various abilities.  Participants can exercise in their seats, wheelchairs, in the water and standing.

Costs:  Time of fitness instructors and staff to organize flash mobs

Timeline may vary depending on how many people are involved and in which setting the activity takes place.

3. Urban Poling:

Suggested by Saskatoon Health Region: Daphne Kemp Saskatchewan Health Authority (306)-655-2400.   

Urban poling, or Nordic walking, is walking with poles in urban settings like sidewalks, city parks, trails and roads. Think cross country skiing without the skis. The purpose of this activity is to provide opportunity to learn the art and benefits of urban poling through hands on experience. You can provide this two ways.

  1. Have an urban poling display at locations such as hospitals, libraries, clinics, community halls. This would provide information on cost, how to purchase and benefits. Allow the public to experience them with a professional that can provide feedback on correct useage. This would a come and go, walk up event, no scheduled times of an actual class
  2. Host a urban poling class- to allow people to experience poles and their benefit.
  • Use poster to provide times and locations of the poling event. Ensure contact number is available for registering.
  • Meet those registered ( eg lunch hour for staff is a great time)

Provide instruction on the poles aprox 5 minutes and a 20 minute walk outdoors or indoors.

Costs: Costs would be for promotion such as posters or media to get the word out regarding the event. See attached for example poster. Cost of multiple poles or access to poles for use of registrants or display. *You will need to have access to a person in your area that is certified in urban poling. There is costs asc. with this- see https://urbanpoling.com/

Timelines:  You may host multiple times throughout the month at various times of day at various locations to increase access to as many people as possible.

4. Globe Walk: 

View Resource

By Saskatoon Council on Aging:  Bring a group of adults and older adults together to walk the globe. Participants are encouraged to count their steps in the spirit of a friendly competition while being social and active.

Costs:  Other than a good pair of walking shoes, this activity is free.

Timeline: This activity takes place on one day

Suggested Action Steps to Host Activities

These are the steps to consider in planning, implementing and evaluating your fitness and physical activity:

Action Step 1:  Background research and planning

  • Read and understand more about the activity you have selected among the options above.
  • Determine who you are targeting for your activity (level of fitness required and health to participate in this activity, diversity of the participants, inclusivity, etc.).
  • What will be the setting of the activity? What are the resources required? Can you partner with other organizations for greater impact?

Action Step 2: Promotional outreach and education

  • Start to plan your activity by designing promotional flyers/materials to recruit participants. Distribute your materials through proper channels (eg. community newspapers, homes, community centres and other community settings where adults and older adults gather).
  • Once participants recruited, inquire about physical fitness, restrictions and abilities of each participant prior to engaging in the selected activity.
  • Implement your activity as planned.

Action Step 3: Evaluation

  • You can evaluate your activities by counting the number of handouts you gave, or how many people attended your presentation, or how many contact you gained from your campaign. 
  • You can also distribute a questionnaire to measure the level of satisfaction with the activity. See participant evaluation template HERE to customize.