Government of Canada Supports Hockey Project Aimed at Promoting Healthy Weights for Men
It’s time for a gut-check.
Introducing “Hockey Fans in Training” (Hockey FIT) – a free 12 week, off-ice healthy lifestyle program for male hockey fans aged 35-65 looking to make changes to their lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and healthy eating, plays an important role in the well-being and quality of life of Canadians and helps prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Excess weight is a top risk factor for developing chronic diseases and significantly compromises the health of Canadians.
In Canada, men (particularly those who are middle-aged) are almost 35% more likely than women to be overweight or obese.
Expanding the Program
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has invested up to $2.5 million over three and a half years to help expand Western University’s Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT) program across the country. This program aims to motivate Canadian adult males to eat healthier foods and become more physically active by incorporating participants’ passion for hockey into the initiative.
Hockey FIT has recently moved to Western Canada after successfully launching in 16 communities across Ontario. In your community, Hockey FIT has partnered with the Medicine Hat Tigers and the YMCA of Medicine Hat to implement and deliver the program.
The program curriculum includes an education component focusing on healthy eating and the importance of physical activity, as well as an exercise component, involving aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises. Connecting to participants’ passion for hockey, the program incorporates activities like stick handling drills to promote being active and includes the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the team’s home rink.
A Pillar of Healthy Living
“The Government of Canada knows that physical activity is a pillar of healthy living. That’s why we are committed to supporting and encouraging initiatives like the Hockey FIT program that get Canadians moving and keep them active through physical activity and sport.
This program is encouraging men across Canada to take their love of hockey and turn it into an opportunity to improve their health by moving more and eating healthier foods.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health.
Using Competition for Health Promotion
“Men are under-represented in health promotion programs and visit their doctor less than women; this may be associated with worsening health indicators in men compared to women in Canada.
Our research suggests that men associate physical activity with sport and athleticism and prefer health promotion programs that incorporate competition in the company of other men.
Given Canada’s love of hockey and that junior hockey in large and small communities across the country is often a rallying point, Hockey Fans in Training will engage men who are fans of their favourite junior hockey team to participate in adopting a healthy lifestyle and improve their health.
Our partnerships cut across public and private sectors to provide a range of innovative tools and technologies to support long term health change in Canadian men, which we believe will positively impact their families too.”
Dr. Robert Petrella
Professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
If you’re a male hockey fan between 35-65 looking to make changes for a better, healthier lifestyle sign up for Hockey Fans in Training Today! Visit www.hockeyfansintraining.org.