Healthy Abbotsford Blog

7 reasons soccer is essential for kids

This is from

Just about any sport or physical activity will help to develop physical literacy and good movement skills. However, if you had to pick one sport that developed the most skills and capacities, it would have to be soccer.


Soccer develops 7 key areas:

  1. ABCs – not what you think
  2. Running
  3. Jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping, and dodging
  4. Throwing and catching
  5. Tracking the movement of an object in flight
  6. Decision making
  7. Kicking

To learn more about each of these areas, click here to read the entire article.


The Real People of Abbotsford

This time of year we get bombarded with images and videos of super fit, beautiful people that seem to have everything figured out. Their life is great and if you buy whatever product they are selling your life will be great too. Right.

So, how about being inspired by some real life people, who live right here in Abbotsford, who have actually made changes to live a healthier life?

ParticipACTION has a wall of inspiration where anyone can share their story. Click here to learn about the real people of Abbotsford who are changing their lives for the better.

picture of a map


The One Thing Standing in Your Way

Well, the 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing! A lot of media attention is devoted to the Olympics, however, very little is given to the paraolympics which take place August 29 – September 9. We have some amazing Canadian athletes competing in the paraolympics, they really do prove that you can do anything that you set your mind to.

Need a bit of inspiration to get yourself moving? Watch a few of these videos, it is a good reminder that the only thing that gets in our way is ourselves. If you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen.


Increase Your Productivity

Does your workplace have a wellness program? If not, have you ever thought of starting one? It may seem like a daunting task, where do you even start? Well, you have chosen to read the right blog post! The Canadian Cancer Society and Healthy Families BC have teamed up to provide a user friendly, step-by-step toolkit for developing a workplace wellness program. It is delivered in 4 modules and includes access to a variety of free resources. Here is more about the program from

Why workplace wellness?

statistics on disease and benefits of workplace wellness programs

For each module, you will find a wealth of information and ideas for implementing a wellness program that fits your business.

1. Action Plan

Start with the Action Plan, which helps you plan how to implement the module in your workplace.

2. Educate

Educate resources provides factsheets with useful information and tips to share with your employees.

3. Act

Act resources shows you strategies for helping employees make healthy choices at work.

4. Support

Support resources offers ideas on how to implement policies and support your employees in making healthy choices.

So, you now have access to all the tools you need to start a workplace wellness program. Are you in? All it takes is one person to spark an entire culture change in the workplace. Will you be that person? Click here to get started.


Local Health Champion Runs for Her Family and to Cure Diabetes

Vanessa Kuipers and her Kids

Vanessa Kuipers with her kids Lexie and Owen at the end of the BMO Half Marathon in October 2011


Last week I had the pleasure to speak to an amazing health champion in Abbotsford, Vanessa Kuipers. A teacher and mother of two, Vanessa is part of Team Diabetes, a program of the Canadian Diabetes Association whose goal is to find a cure for diabetes and raise awareness of the condition.

In January of 2003, Vanessa’s family was devastated when her daughter was diagnosed in kindergarten with type-1 diabetes. After both her children suffered from the flu in late 2002, unlike her brother, Lexie just couldn’t seem to kick the bug. She suffered from many flu-like symptoms and had lost a considerable amount of weight before diabetes was found to be the cause. She now requires regular injections of insulin and continual monitoring of blood sugar levels to keep her alive and well. While learning a new way of life in caring for her daughter, the family suffered another tragedy when Vanessa’s husband passed away after a prolonged sickness in 2009.

Driven by a passion to cure diabetes and to be there for her kids for many years, Vanessa joined Team Diabetes and is now a healthy role model for her kids, her students and her community.

In August 2010, Vanessa participated in her first big event, a 10 km run in Reykjavik, Iceland. By raising $6100, Team Diabetes covered the cost of travel, accommodation and the entry fee to bring Vanessa to Iceland.

On her own and sometimes through group runs with the Running Room, Vanessa built up her fitness in preparation for the run. On the big day she kept her inspiration close to her by laminating a picture of her kids and wearing it on her shoulder. “With 500 meters left in the run I looked at the picture and found the inspiration to finish”.

Since her first run, Vanessa has continued to run with Team Diabetes in various local events, including completing her first half marathon in Kelowna in 2011. Vanessa is currently fundraising to represent Team Diabetes in future events including a half marathon in Brazil. Vanessa runs, not to be fast, but to continue to be healthy and support a great cause.

As a teacher, Vanessa makes an effort to inspire her students to be active by sharing her running stories and turning any lesson into an active game. She even took her grade 9 English class outside and used activity to demonstrate grammar principals, aka “Grammar Bootcamp”, a lesson her old students still talk about today.

At the end of our chat, Vanessa made a deal with her daughter, now 14, to run/walk together in Kelowna next year.

If you would like to donate to help Vanessa fundraise for her next event, click here to visit her personal fundraising page.

To learn more about Team Diabetes and how to get involved click here.


Abbotsford Taekwondo Inspires Kids to Live Healthy!

At the core of Abbotsford Taekwondo’s philosophy is the constant improvement of self, which includes not only skills in the Korean Martial art of Taekwondo but in all aspects of life from leading a healthy lifestyle to excelling in school!

Abbotsford Taekwondo just opened their doors in September of 2010 and so far has seen a great response from the community. Panna Bhatthal, the Program Coordinator, noted that the families registering their children in Taekwondo do so to encourage their children to be active and healthy.  Through coordinated movements of jumping, kicking and punching, Taekwondo improves flexibility, strength and endurance and with a focus on self improvement, participants of all ages and fitness levels can learn Taekwondo.

With over 25 years experience, Abbotsford Taekwondo’s Instructor, Amandeep Bhatthal, teaches the skills of Taekwondo in a fun and positive environment. The club’s philosophy is to encourage students to constantly improve themselves as a person by focusing on personal progress instead of comparing themselves to other students. Children in the classes not only improve fitness and coordination but they also build self esteem. “The kids are looking after themselves and want to be in good health…the best part is they love it and can’t wait until the next class”.

Abbotsford Taekwondo is a proud supporter of Healthy Abbotsford’s mission to inspire people in Abbotsford to live a healthy lifestyle.

For more information contact the Abbotsford Taekwondo Club at:

Abbotsford Taekwondo Club
13-31205 Maclure Rd,
Abbotsford, BC
V2T 5E5
Contact # (604)825-9345

 Girl Kicking - Abbotsford Taekwondo