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Building Local Community Through Fitness

Getting physically healthy is a lot harder than it seems. Maintaining a consistent schedule and routine takes time and effort and can sometimes be overwhelming, going at it alone.

The 2018 and 2019 Canadian Health Measures Survey shows that only about one in two Canadian adults aged 18 to 79 meet the most recent recommended target of accumulating at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). Looking at New Year’s resolutions, roughly 8 per cent achieve their resolution.

That’s where communities like Peg-City Steppers come in, creating a network and social circle to motivate people to exercise.

Natalya Petrekin and Shana Goodridge make up two of three original steppers, heading out during the height of winter on January 05, 2020. What started as a group of friends wanting to stay active and be mobile during the cold winter months and in the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic has grown tremendously now, including over 30 members.

“That’s one of our main objectives to continuously encourage people in the community that live a relatively sedentary lifestyle,” says Goodridge, “to get active, to get moving, and embrace that lifestyle to live a more active and healthy life.”

To encourage more of the community in physical health, the group is inviting Winnipeggers to join a Health and Wellness Day at True North Square on Saturday, July 05, 2023. The day will include a boot camp, soca-aerobatics, wellness, talks, dental and health checks, stretch demos, and music and vendors. This will be the first major community event since the ending of lockdowns; PegCity Steppers is ecstatic to get more involved and create opportunities for Winnipeg residents to bond and build connections while improving mobility, health, and physical literacy.

The group has meant so much for both women, and the structure and encouragement in a group have helped Petrekin succeed and thrive on her wellness journey.

“I have always participated in different fitness activities at different levels. That’s not because I love it, but because I think early on, I understood the importance of being fit and healthy. Consistency is key, but being consistent is hard tho. What I think is an important piece is to find yourself a good community, a community that will support you, a community you feel comfortable in. That’s what PegCity Steppers has provided for me.”

For those interested in testing out the waters, the group meets Saturday mornings at the Forks at 7:30 a.m. and Monday evenings at a rotating location at 6 p.m. Sometimes, the group takes it easy on walks. Sometimes they push each other to achieve goals or hang out and build relationships. The only requirement: all you have to do is show up.

Due to high temperatures, the group recommends taking outdoor physical activity easier, wearing hats, avoiding the warmest parts of the day, drinking plenty of water, not pushing yourself too hard during heat waves, finding shade, and going inside if it’s becoming too much.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Community Focus: Manitoba Filipino Seniors Group Promoting well-being among both the young and elderly members of the community while preserving Filipino culture is a key aspect of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg (FSGW). FSGW hosted the first Seniors Sports Fest last March, featuring popular games, including pool, darts, chess and Filipino Sungka. The efforts promoted socialization,Continue Reading

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