People across Calgary have been filling prescriptions to get active. On the advice of a healthcare professional, they can try a number of fitness facilities around the city for free.

“This is a good option for our clients that really want to try something out before they get into it,” says Katie Elgie, kinesiologist at the South Calgary Primary Care Network. “Some people can find the gym intimidating and this lets them get a feel for it before they sign up for anything.” Patients can pick up a prescription from their doctor or health team. In Calgary, there are more than two dozen facilities that offer everything from Zumba class to swimming. All of the facilities start you off with a guided tour and an introduction to the fitness equipment.

As well as a free pass to different facilities, the Prescription to Get Active program offers motivational advice such as: “start slowly” and “try a variety of activities.” And it suggests easy ways to get more active such as park a little further away from the door, take the stairs and walk over to a co-worker instead of emailing. Health guidelines recommend adults get 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

People get active and before they know it, they’re feeling better – Jackie Zimmerman, Mosiac PCN kinesiologist

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This story appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Health Matters, the quarterly magazine produced by Calgary’s seven primary care networks. Read the full issue.