Community group is in motion to get London in shape

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: RANDOMACTSOFKINDNESS.ORG
Be a little more in motion throughout the month of October by making small changes to your daily routine, such as carrying your groceries instead of using a shopping cart.

For the first time ever, local community members are being put to the test to make the city of London Canada's healthiest community. Initiated by Middlesex- London in motion, a community based initiative put in place to promote healthy and active living, the Physical Activity Community Challenge hopes to encourage Londoners to lead healthy lifestyles through casual exercise.

Kicking off on October 1, the in motion Physical Activity Community Challenge is rapidly growing to over 500 participants across the city and expects to surpass that within the first week of the challenge. Josh Archer, in motion coordinator for the City of London said this specific idea was the result of more than 50 partnerships coming together to work towards one common goal: physical activity and healthy eating. As a result, the committee decided to launch a community-wide event that would push locals to add five minutes of exercise to their routines every day.

“Any amount of exercise works,” Archer said. “This might mean parking a little farther away from where you work, carrying your groceries rather than pushing them around in a cart, or even simply walking around the mall! We're not asking people to go crazy, but we're just asking that people do a little more exercise than they did the day before, that's it.”

The 31-day challenge, happening throughout the entire month of October, has even introduced a mobile app for participants to track their daily exercise intake.

“We decided to make the challenge very accessible so everyone, even those who aren't great with computers, can take part... no excuses!” Archer joked. “You can use it through the Internet, you can use it on your phone, or you can track everything through a manual tracking sheet at different locations across the city, so that anybody, of all ages, can participate.”

The in motion challenge app can be found at

Chris Green, project manager for the in motion challenge and supervisor for the West Area Recreation Services for the City of London, is hopeful that the challenge will improve the lackluster health statistics facing Canadian youth.

“Only about one in 10 children in London get their recommended physical activity,” Green said. “According to the Canadian Society for Experience and Physiology, the recommended amount of physical activity for youth under 18 is 60 minutes every day. Anyone aged 18 to 65 should be trying to exercise at least 150 minutes per week.”

As far as student involvement goes, the in motion challenge hopes to get campuses such as Fanshawe College and Western University involved as much as possible.

“I think everyone knows that physical activity isn't something we can ignore in society anymore,” Green said. “We understand that students are a large part of our community and that's why we're making an effort to have part of our strategy directed directly towards [them]. Students should be counted and not discounted as far as community goes.”

For those of you needing motivation to get started, Green shared these words of wisdom: “I think everyone understands how physical activity is important to our society, but not everyone has clear messaging. I think a lot of people think [being physically active] means joining a gym or training for a marathon when that's definitely not true. We want to show people that you don't need to be a professional athlete to be physically active.”

Interested participants can sign up and find more information about the challenge at, by picking up paper tracking forms at any London Public Library location or dropping by the London recreation/ community centre before the end of the event on October 31. Come on, London, let's get moving!