A staple of Canadian television when I was growing up were those short Body Break spots featuring Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod – brought to us by ParticipACTION. The catchy little Body Break tune would chime in and youâ€™d see Hal and Joanne eating right, power walking and telling us what we can do to live a healthy lifestyle. They were always cheery and wore matching pastel coloured track suits.
Starting in the early 1970s, the non-profit agency encouraged Canadians to get fit. The program included a series of television ads that encouraged people of all ages to “keep fit and have fun.” The program ran for three decades, until its funding was cut in 2001. [CBC]
It was announced today that the Federal government pledged $5 million (over 2 years) to renew ParticipACTION to help Canadians develop healthier lifestyles.
Not sure if the two are related, but when we were in elementary school we had the Canada Fitness Program. It was a check-list of tasks to complete including (but not limited to) long distance running, push ups, sit-ups, and of course, the all-time most-feared – the shuttle run.
Recently in an episode of Corner Gas one of the cops, Davis, was tricked into thinking there was a fitness requirement for the force so he got Brentâ€™s dad to whip him into shape. Oscar went old-school and used the Canada Fitness program to get Davis going. It brought back so many memories, especially of the dreaded shuttle run.
Once a year the older grades would have a list of fitness activities to complete. Depending on the level of difficulty you were able to accomplish, you were given a Canada Fitness Award. They were little badges ranging from bronze, silver, gold and the BEST you could achieve was â€˜excellenceâ€™. This was a most-coveted badge and in my grade 7 year I reached it. Unfortunately due to a teachersâ€™ strike in the spring, I was never awarded my badge. Go figure.