Cardel Place is on a critical mission to raise healthier generations. We can’t do it alone - we need your help.

On Your Mark! An Inspirational Evening for Raising Healthier Generations

On November 16, Cardel Place hosted an invigorating evening of compelling conversations about active living and community well-being led by Canada’s 2012 Olympic Games Chef de Mission, Mark Tewksbury, and Dr. Mark Tremblay, author of Canada’s Report Card on Active Living.

presentation click here for an image gallery

These passionate leaders shared their insights on how individuals, families and communities can become part of the local solution to the national challenge of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity.

Healthy active lifestyles begin at home. Whether you’re in the house, at work, at school, at a neighbourhood park or a public recreation facility, it’s important to build active play into every day. It doesn’t matter where you’re active, it only matters that you are active.

Thank you to everyone who attended. Together we can raise healthier generations.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Reception Sponsor:

Cenovus Energy

Media Sponsor:

Calgary Herald Cardel Homes
  • Absolute Energy
  • Access Gas Services
  • The Alberta New Home Warranty Program
  • Apple Fitness Store
  • BD Consulting Corporation
  • Bennett Jones
  • Centaur Products Inc.
  • Callow & Associates
  • City of Calgary Recreation
  • Costplan Management Ltd.
  • Executive Mat Service
  • Gibbs Gage Architects
  • Huntington Hills Community Association
  • Panther Sports Medicine
  • PCL Construction
  • Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers
  • Sandstone MacEwan Community Association
  • SMP Engineering
  • SNC-Lavalin Engineering
  • Tool Peet Insurance

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Dr. Mark Tremblay has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sports Administration and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree from Laurentian University. His graduate training was from the University of Toronto where he obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Department of Community Health with a specialty in Exercise Science.

Dr. Tremblay is the Director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, where he is also cross-appointed to the School of Human Kinetics, the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine and the Ph.D. Program in Population Health.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Chief Scientific Officer of Active Healthy Kids Canada, Chair of the ParticipACTION Research Advisory Group, Chair of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines Project, Chair of the Canadian Health Measures Survey Expert Advisory Committee and former Dean of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Tremblay has published more than 160 papers and book chapters in the areas of childhood obesity, physical activity measurement, exercise physiology, exercise endocrinology and health surveillance. He has delivered over 450 scholarly conference presentations, including more than 120 invited and keynote addresses, in 15 countries. Dr. Tremblay recently received an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University for his leadership contributions to healthy active living in Canada. Dr. Tremblay’s most productive work has resulted from his 23-year marriage to his wife Helen, yielding four wonderful children.

Convenient Living is Killing Us

Getting individuals and families more active right in their own homes and neighbourhoods is critical to Canada overcoming the national challenge of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity, according to experts speaking tonight at a Calgary special presentation on active living and community well-being.

The On Your Mark event, hosted by Cardel Place as part of its Raise The Bar campaign, features key-note presentations by Dr. Mark Tremblay, Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa and Mark Tewksbury, Canada's 2012 Summer Olympic Games Chef du Mission and Olympic gold medalist, both members of Cardel Place's advisory team.

"Convenient living is killing us," declared Cardel Place General Manager Sue Scott. "We've built too much convenience into our lives. Whether in front of our computers, watching television or travelling in our cars, we sit far too long each day.

"Healthy active lifestyles must begin at home. Once individuals become more active at home, they can continue to be active in neighbourhood parks, at school, at work or at public recreation facilities like Cardel Place. It doesn't matter where you're active, it just matters that you are active."

One-in-three Canadian children are either over-weight or obese and facing health complications normally found only in adults, according to a September 2012 Statistics Canada report. The report mirrors the findings from the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth, released in May 2012, which assigned an "F" for child and youth active play. It found that only 46 per cent of kids are playing actively three-hours a week and that 63 per cent of their after-school and weekend free-time is spent being sedentary.

"Healthy active living begins right in our homes. By making small changes every day, the health and wellness of our children and families can be preserved and promoted" stressed Tremblay, the Report Card's principal author. "It's a simple solution that everyone can do."

"Being active isn't about ability, it's about attitude," said Tewksbury. "With the right attitude, each of us can be more active and by being more active, each of us can achieve our own personal best, podium performance."

"Our approach is based on our belief that we can only succeed by working together," explained Scott. "Cardel Place, in collaboration with families, the community, educators, health professionals and others, is pioneering a local solution that will see us become both more active and healthier."

Fighting child obesity on the homefront

Published by in FFWD

Obesity researcher Dr. Mark Tremblay says the growing problem of childhood obesity in the midst of more physical activity programming than ever is due to over-structuring, over-parenting and social conditioning to sit still and be quiet.

Tremblay co-authored a 2012 report in which Canadian children received an F grade for the quality and quantity of their active play for the seventh year in a row. The non-profit organization Active Healthy Kids Canada, a partner of Participaction Canada, issues an annual report card on children’s health. This year’s review found that one in three children are overweight or obese; they get an average of seven hours of “screen time” every day, though 92 per cent said they would rather play with friends than watch TV; and only seven per cent are getting the daily recommended 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity.

“We unnecessarily suppress and create a pattern of behaviour in our young kids,” argues Tremblay. “We like them very controlled, quiet and so on. So kids, don’t run, don’t jump, don’t climb, don’t this, don’t that…. The biological need or urge to move, I think we suppress it. And some more cynical than I would suggest we even do that pharmaceutically with some kids who just need to move more.” Tremblay says the structured, programmed activities offered by recreation centres, communities and schools have their place, but cannot replace the natural play children need to remain healthy.

Calgary’s Cardel Place recreation centre is working with Tremblay and Mount Royal University researchers to bring unstructured active play back into children’s lives. MRU will monitor a group of children between the ages of four and 15 to establish baseline levels of physical activity. It will then track changes in their health and activity levels in relation to new approaches the rec centre is taking to physical activity.

Cardel Place general manager Sue Scott says everyone is aware of the issue of childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, but even she doesn’t think more rec centre programming is the answer. “We know what the solution is, but the paradox of all of this is that we tend to overcomplicate it and institutionalize the solution, and really there are very few barriers to active play,” says Scott. “The goal has to be integrating regular, incidental activity into your day so that you’re doing it without even thinking about it.”

Scott says Cardel Place will work with the provincial government to bring physical health education into the community, rather than requiring families to make time to exercise at recreation centres. She also says the results of the MRU research will be shared, ideally informing stakeholders on which strategies do work to increase unplanned physical activity in children’s free time.

“If we can go where people live and help to coach them to bring back play, bring back active living into their daily routine — which is where they live, it’s not at Cardel Place or any equivalent building — then it seems to me that there’s a greater chance for success,” says Tremblay.