Build a Stronger You

Physical and Outdoor Activity

Physical and outdoor activity play an important role in every Northerners health, well-being and quality of life.

Being physically active every day has been proven to have immediate benefits including reducing stress and boosting your energy. Long-term benefits include helping with weight loss or weight maintenance, strengthening bones and muscles, improving sleep quality and boosting your immune system.

There are endless ways you can be active, what is important is the activity is consistent, appropriate for your age and ability and at least half an hour a day. Need tips? Check out Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to help get you started.

Sport and Recreation

Physical activity looks different for everyone and there’s many options. Do a quick online search, and you’ll find recreation leagues, drop-in intramurals, lane swimming, Hand Games, working on the land, dance classes, and so much more! Find out what’s available in your community and what interests you:

Sport North Federation – Territorial Sports Organizations

Mackenzie Recreation Association

NWT Recreation & Parks

Aboriginal Sport Circle


Getting Outside

Even in  cold weather, getting outside is one of the easiest ways to get active and strengthen your immune system. Spending time in nature and the natural light can improve your mood, reduce stress and depression, and provide your body with the very important vitamin D. Outdoor exercise stimulates all five senses in a way that indoor activities cannot. Additionally, being out in nature impacts the brain in a positive way, making you feel better about yourself. Go for a walk, snowshoe through the forest, hunt, fish, and explore your surroundings – just make sure you bundle-up!


Physical Literacy

Encouraging children and youth to be physically active at a young age will have positive life-long effects. Being active while young has positive effects on the brain, body and immune system as it develops and teaches children the importance of being active at every stage and age of their lives. Being active encourages socialization, reduces screen time and builds strong family dynamics. Check out these programs and events that encourage everyone from children to seniors to get up and get active:

  • The NWTRPA Walking Challenge: The annual community walking challenge that takes place in January and February. Community members, schools, and workplaces are encouraged to form teams and conceptually walk the distance of the Big River from Zhatıé Kų́ę́ to Tuktuuyaqtuuq, a total of 1,658 km.    
  • L.A.C.E. UP: The Mackenzie Recreation Association’s (MRA) annual active commute challenge. The challenge’s goal is to encourage MRA communities to think about their daily routines and how small changes to in incorporate more movement and activity can lead to long-term benefits – health, personal, economic, community and the environment.
  • NWT School Sports: Youth sport leagues, competitions and events happening around the NWT.
  • Arctic Winter Games 2023:  From January 29-February 4, Wood Buffalo will welcome approximately 2,100 participants, coaches, mission staff and officials from eight contingents for the 2023 Arctic Winter Games (AWG).
  • Canada Winter Games: From February 18 to March 5, 2023, we’ll bring together more than 3,600 participants to celebrate the very best in Canadian sport 
  • Annual Virtual Ping Pong Challenge:  The Mackenzie Recreation Association and Table Tennis North are bringing back the Virtual Ping Pong Challenge on February 9, 2023.
  • Webinars with the Richmond Olympic Oval:  The Richmond Olympic Oval will be providing free webinars on Fitness, Nutrition and Mental Performance to the Table Tennis North community, Territorial Sport Organizations and the Table Tennis Canada family starting in February.

Building a routine that includes physical and outdoor active has many benefits, especially for strengthening your body and immune system to fight off illness.

Everyone can experience the health benefits of physical and outdoor activity – age, abilities, ethnicity, shape, or size do not matter. Do the activities that bring you joy and make you feel good. Every little bit of movement counts!