Canadians don’t get much summer. As an Edmontonian I like to think that with a summer solstice sunrise of 5:04 and sunset at 10:07 I get more summer than most people. This is a rationalization I make to try and erase the memory that I live in one of the coldest populated places on Earth.

One thing I do love about Canada is the new initiative participACTION. It’s a genius initiative to promote physical activity in a non-pushy and creatively simple way. When we picture exercise we think of the repetitive thump-thump-thump of treadmills, sweaty track pants, and that strange rubbery smell often found in a neighbourhood gym. We’re a society that thrives on transferring outdoor activities indoors, and exercise is becoming, unfortunately, an indoor activity.

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ParticipACTION reminds us that physical activity, or play, as they call it takes on many forms. It can be throwing a ball around with a family member, going for a walk, playing hopscotch in the driveway, or mowing the lawn. Exercise doesn’t have to be daunting or associated with pain, suffering, and people who still wear sweatbands. Exercise can be as simple as going for a walk, throwing a frisbee, or even getting your hands dirty in the garden.

June 21st is the Summer Solstice, the ‘longest day of play.’ It’s time to recreate some of those outdoor memories from when you were a kid. Time is relative and age is a choice, get outside and play. Just be back in time for dinner.