Marketing and Communications Manager
BVI Health Services Authority
A 12 week fitness challenge has been issued to residents of the Virgin Islands to increase physical activity thereby ensuring a healthier Virgin Islands.
The challenge has been issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Development and begins on February 15 and ends on April 18.
The fitness challenge is a part of the VI run/walk programme which seeks to inspire the community especially adults between the ages of 25-64 through widespread participant walking.
Coordinator for Health Promotions Ms. Ivy George stated that the challenge was strategically set for this time of the year after many persons have indulged in the fun and food of the holiday season.
“We want new and existing walkers to form community or workplace walking groups and be committed to walking for a minimum of three times per week for an hour or five times per week for 30 minutes,” Ms George said.
The Coordinator added that the establishment of community walking groups are imperative to the success of this programme. Walking in a group she added helps you stay committed to a regular walking routine as it serves as motivation and a great opportunity to socialize and spend quality time with family and friends.
Ms George pointed out that persons who may not want to be committed to a group can join the 10,000 step programme. She said that there is something for everyone, and individuals who wish to take part in the challenge but do not want to walk in a group can strive towards doing an accumulated 10,000 steps per day by tracking their movement using pedometers.
Ms. George further outlined that the inspiration behind the run walk programme is to increase physical activity of the residents of the BVI in an effort to reduce the Territory’s vulnerability to non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and renal failure. These diseases she explained can be kept at bay with the correct lifestyle and the community must be inspired to come together in the fight towards achieving a healthier Virgin Islands.
The VI run/walk for health programme is one of many initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry of Health under the Health and Wellness and Non communicable diseases prevention programme. It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry Health and Social Development, the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and the BVI Olympic Committee.
Persons interested in accepting the challenge can contact the Ministry of Health at 468-2280 to register.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development has implemented a 10-year strategy to improve the health and well being of the population and reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The strategy prioritises prevention by integrating policies and action across multiple settings where people live, play and work to improve health and save lives.