I'm no athlete. And I tend to view team sports as sublimated warfare. But, as David Suzuki is fond of saying, "exercise is my medicine."
So I'm training for the 5k race at the Scotiabank Half Marathon event in Vancouver June 24. And I'm smack-talking my friends and colleagues who are participating with me or in the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon May 6 and the Halifax Blue Nose International May 18-20 — whatever it takes to get people exercising outdoors AND raising money for the David Suzuki Foundation, so we can work to protect nature. Healthy bodies, healthy planet!
Can an out-of-shape, middle-aged shlob beat the young 'uns? You betcha. I'm already cleaning their clocks when it comes to the fundraising race! (Take that as a challenge — please!)
Sign up for our newsletter
Don't want to go all grandma, but playing outside is good for you. Sunlight is the ideal source of vitamin D — good for building muscles and bones, especially for kids and (ahem) the elderly. In fact, vitamin "N" (for "nature") is essential for all human functions, reducing obesity, stress, and the incidence of clinical depression. Scans of the human brain "on nature" reveal activity in neural areas associated with empathy, emotional stability, and love. And that feels terrific!
Events like these marathons are especially great because they're inclusive — you don't have to be an athlete to participate (although you can be). And they're family-friendly. So you can bring along your kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. And you can choose your level of involvement — full marathon (in Toronto and Halifax only), half marathon or 5k — by what works for your body — run, walk (like me!) or wheel.
What's even better about these giant events is their visibility. Thousands hit the streets and stand up for what they care about. Anyone and everyone can be a part of something bigger than themselves.
So come on out and reap the benefits of fresh air and green spaces. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated — bring your own reusable bottle! And show you care about air, water, soil and species by raising money to protect them.
See you at the races!