The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium invites the public to join a physical activity campaign, “Move for a Cause” for the month of April. The spring initiative aims to encourage fitness and wellness, and will generate donations to a nonprofit cause — this year to Southeast Alaska Independent Living, or SAIL.
Doug Osbourne is a health educator at Sitka-based SEARHC. He says the four-week program is for all ages and abilities in Southeast Alaska.
“And the idea is to give individuals some support as they set and strive for their fitness goals. And at the same time raise money for a great cause,” Osbourne said.
Each week, participants set a fitness goal and track their progress. Osbourne says it could be anything from walking the dog, to biking, to running, to the gym or the pool, or whatever is available.
“So I think it’s a good opportunity to really think about the role fitness plays in my life. And for a lot of people, it’s getting out, it’s breathing the fresh air, it’s seeing what that’s going on in your community in your neighborhood. And it circulates those kind of feel-good chemicals in your body when you move,” Osbourne said. “And I think it’s just tied to so many elements health, not just to your physical health and the quality of your sleep, but also to your mental health, your emotional health.”
Participants submit weekly progress towards their goal, and at the end of the four weeks, SEARHC will make a donation in each person’s name to SAIL.
Janine Allen is an Independent Life Advocate with SAIL based in Haines. They have centers in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan that support seniors and people with disabilities.
“We are truly grateful that SEARHC has chosen SAIL as a cause worth moving,” Allen said.
Allen says in Haines they are seeing a wide variety of community needs, entering the third year of the pandemic. SAIL works to help connect people with programs and resources, from housing to medical care and food assistance.
“We’re just trying to help people do and take care of what they need right now,” she said. “We see a great need in the community for things like heating oil, especially with prices so high, it’s a real need. We see a lot of food insecurity. So trying to help people get connected will ensure that they have access to Salvation Army resources, senior center lunches if they’re eligible, that sort of thing.
Doug Osbourne of SEARHC said last year’s “Move for a Cause” had more than 700 attendees and donated more than $3,000 to nonprofits CoastAlaska and the Southwest Food Bank. east of Alaska. And they hope to achieve that goal or more this year.
The program starts on Friday April 1st, for more information or to register, see searhc.org/moveforacause.