Thunder Bay, ON - While the restrictions of COVID-19 continue to challenge daily life, the Ontario Native Women’s Association’s (ONWA) annual Mocc Walk Challenge is virtual for a second year. The Mocc Walk (May 1st to June 30th) is a free walking/physical activity challenge intended to increase awareness about diabetes and support physical activity amongst Indigenous women and their families across Ontario.
Get active, get fit and have fun! The journey to a healthier lifestyle looks different for everyone. The Mocc Walk is a great way to reduce the chance of getting diabetes as a healthy weight reduction initiative and a way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Whether it’s exercising in your living room or walking around the block, participants are encouraged to walk/exercise within their capabilities and record the number of minutes engaged in a physical activity of their choice.
Physical activity of any kind promotes wellbeing and improves a sense of wholeness and mental health by producing endorphins that make you happy. It is especially important to take care of our physical and mental health during this unprecedented time.
“At the start of COVID-19 I was depressed and unable to motivate myself to get exercise even though normally I’m a fairly active athlete. I was too ashamed of my weight gain and general failure to keep up my fitness to register for any marathon walks/hikes. The Mocc Walk gave me motivation to get out without the pressure of overly competitive people. Receiving a new fitness tracker really cheered me up. I’m not back to where I was but I’m on track to get there. If I hadn’t seen the post on Facebook I probably would still be on my couch eating pizza. Nia:wen for running this event. I definitely will be signing up next year!” Nat.
Last year, 867 participants logged a total of 642,134 minutes of activity. This year, ONWA hopes more participants will join us. We are encouraging everyone – long term care facilities, classrooms, youth, and more – to get into the spirit of healthy competition. Participants will have many chances to win prizes through multiple Weekly Challenges, a Participation Draw, and a Grand Prize Draw.
“This is my first time entering the Mocc Walk program 2020. It interested me. I have type 2 diabetes and this was a perfect program to take as it inspired me to stay fit and stay active. Diabetes is not easy to live with, it really changes your lifestyle. My grandmother died from this disease. I really want to make things better for myself and encourage others that just because you are diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Just keep on living and taking care of you.” Miigwan kwe.
A virtual platform offers ONWA community members a way to connect, participate, and share their Mocc Walk goals and accomplishments whether from across the living room to across the province. In these times of isolation and loneliness putting one moccasin in the front of the next is truly raising awareness about diabetes and each other.
For more information and to register go to: Mocc Walk 2021 | ONWA
For more information:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)