It is Time for Canada to Become a Global Leader in Exercise

It is time for Canada to become a global leader in exercise
By Sara Hodson, BHK, ACSM CEP, CSEP-CEP

By Sara Hodson, BHK, ACSM CEP, CSEP-CEP

President & CEO, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, President, FIC

It is time to prioritize exercise in our health care, for the prevention and treatment of disease and for mental health.

More evidence emerged this week on the correlation between  physical exercise and COVID-19. An international study, involving researchers from Western University showed that adults who engaged in moderate to high levels of physical activity had “significantly better” outcomes when it came to contracting COVID-19.

 

Last year, a similar study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who had been physically inactive had a higher risk of severe COVID-19 – those who were sedentary were more likely to be hospitalized, ventilated or die from COVID-19.

 

While exercise is not the only answer to helping us fight COVID-19, it must be part of the healthcare solution. The Fitness Industry Council (FIC) of Canada is once again proposing that the federal government make gym memberships tax deductible in our Spring 2022 Budget. Research conducted in July 2021 by the FIC found that six out of 10 Canadians would be incentivized to purchase a gym membership if there was a tax deduction. 

 

It is time to prioritize exercise in our health care, for the prevention and treatment of disease and for mental health. The British Medical Journal, in looking at what we know and don’t know about physical activity, sums it up perfectly: 

“Lessons learnt from almost two years of intensive research on COVID-19, along with our already robust knowledge of exercise immunology and clinical physiology, form the basis for a global call to action: Promote Physical Activity during this pandemic and others.”  

It is time for Canada to become a global leader in exercise. Email your MP to ask the government to make gym memberships tax deductible.

Sara Hodson is President & CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, and president of Fitness Industry Council of Canada.

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