Physical Activity Programs

Western Health's Physical Activity Strategy includes descriptions of physical activity programs available in the Western region that are suitable for a variety of populations.

If you are interested in any of these programs or if you have any questions, please contact the Regional Health Educator (709-637-5000 extension 5355) or call a Wellness Facilitator in your area:

- Bonne Bay/area and Port Saunders/area: 458-2381, extension 268
- Bay of Islands/area and Deer Lake, White Bay South/area: 632-2920
- Port aux Basques area, Burgeo/Ramea area and Bay St. George/area: 646-3728

Action! Bins

Action! Bins provide resources to teachers, early childhood educators and childcare workers working with the target population within the Western region. These bins are economical and contain appropriate physical activity equipment and activities based on the age group being targeted.

Bins are age-appropriate, and are available for: children 2-5 years of age (up to kindergarten), 5-8 (kindergarten to grade 3) and 9-12 (grade 4-6). These bins provide practical ideas, equipment and activities for teachers, program planners and coordinators to promote inclusive and diverse physical activity.

Action! Bins are easy to use; written descriptions or DVDs of potential activities are provided as well as the equipment needed to complete them.  Schools, Family Resource Centers, child care centers and other groups serving the age 12 and under population can book the Action! Bins by contacting the Regional Health Educator (637-5000 extension 5355).  Due to ongoing demand, groups are encouraged to book this resource at least four weeks before it is needed.

Incorporating Physical Activity into Community Events (Obstacle Course)

To encourage physical activity in children it is important that activity is supported and becomes the cultural norm for families and communities. Children are more likely to be physically active when it is supported by their families and their communities. Community events are common throughout the Western region.

This is an excellent opportunity to encourage outside activity, creating an environment that supports healthy living.  Physical activity can be incorporated into community events within the Western Region by using an obstacle course set-up with equipment provided by Western Health.  Using readily available objects such as pylons, skipping ropes, bean bags and other props, you can create and fun and interactive opportunity for children to be active in your area.  This kit only takes a few minutes to assemble and includes instructions as wells as program materials and can be used at community festivals, Come Home Year events, winter carnivals and many other community gatherings.

For more information or to book an obstacle course kit, contact the Regional Health Educator (637-5000 extension 5355). Due to ongoing demand, groups are encouraged to book this resource at least four weeks before it is needed.

Walking Programs

Walking is beneficial, economical, easy, does not require equipment and is an option for just about everyone regardless of their age or where they live. Walking programs within communities provide a host of benefits which include not only health benefits but social, mental and psychological benefits.  Creating walking groups within primary health care areas can help make activity a regular and visible occurrence.

Walking programs are not only beneficial to children but to communities and families.  Walking programs can be developed for anyone regardless of age. Stroller walks, mom/dad and toddler, teen walks, seniors walking programs, etc. can all be created depending on the demographics of the community.  Western Health has information and resources for communities or groups who would like to start a walking program in their area.  For more information contact the Regional Health Educator (637-5000 extension 5355).  

Kids Live Well Marathon (KLWM)

The Kids Live Well Marathon is a 42-day event aimed at targeting youth aged four to twelve years. On registration day, children and their parents/guardians sign a pledge sheet indicating that they will participate in daily healthy eating and physical activity.  They receive a tracking sheet with information on recommendations for physical activity and healthy eating as per Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide and the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

Throughout the 42-day event, educational sessions offer information on topics including healthy eating, physical activity, and injury prevention.  A number of communities in the Western region have participated in this program with great success, including Deer Lake, Cormack, Reidville, Norris Point, Howley, Hampden and Pollard's Point.  For more information contact the Regional Health Educator at or 637-5000 extension 5355.  

Ticker Tom

The Ticker Tom Program is a fun and interactive program designed to get healthy living messages to children and youth ages 6 - 12 enrolled in summer recreation programs.

The goal of the program is to create awareness in children and youth of the key healthy living messages: eat healthy, be active, and stay smoke-free.  The program is put into action with the help of Ticker Tom... a cat with some cool healthy living messages to share!

This program includes a facilitator manual, promotional items and the Ticker Tom mascot. For more information contact the Regional Health Educator at or 637-5000 extension 5355.