University of P.E.I. students strive to get people to move more

Islanders can expect to get a bit more educated about the benefits of exercise thanks to some U.P.E.I students

Students setting up arm of global initiative "Exercise is Medicine"

The students hope the program will educate people about the health benefits of exercise. (CBC )

Three University of Prince Edward Island students are trying to promote the benefits of exercise to more Islanders.

The students are setting up an arm of the global initiative "Exercise Is Medicine."

The program promotes physical activity to the general public, with a focus on educating physicians about exercise as a treatment for chronic illness.

Ryan Kelly, a fourth-year kinesiology student is organizing the chapter at UPEI. He hopes to go to medical school next year, but wanted to start helping people before then. 

Organizer Ryan Kelly thinks Islanders need to know why exercise is so good for them. (CBC/Natalia Goodwin)

"I was thinking about how I could make a change in people's health and what I want to do with my career but how could I do that before I even start my career," he said

"This was one way...of doing it without actually being involved in medicine. So by doing this we can actually make a change in people's lives ."

Getting others involved

-Ryan Kelly

Kelly plans to form three working groups to plan activities and outreach events. 

One group would focus on schools and work places, one would focus on the university campus, and one would work with medical professionals.

Kelly said the students will call in the help of their professors to design appropriate seminars for medical professionals.

He thinks a program like "Exercise is Medicine" is needed on the Island. He feels although P.E.I. has a lot of fitness infrastructure like trail systems and gyms, that's not enough. 

"It`s one thing to have the tools set in place, that`s fine, they`re there. But people need to know why they need to use them and how to use them, so without having the education those tools are really wasted money," he said. 

Kelly plans to get the program going at the end of September.