2,000 Push-Ups In 23 Days: Are You Up For The Challenge, Canada?

The Push-Up Challenge and Canadian Mental Health Association rally the support of Canadians in their push for better mental health this February. (CNW Group/Canadian Mental Health Association)

This February, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is encouraging Canadians to push for better mental health by participating in fitness-based mental health initiative, The Push-Up Challenge.

The February event has participants taking on 2,000 push-ups to represent the 20% of Canadians who will suffer from mental illness in any given year. The event begins on February 1st and runs for 23 days.

Canadians from all ages and walks of life will participate in the event which engages people in mental health through connection, physical activity, and education.

“The Push-Up Challenge is a great way for Canadians to do something positive for their mental and physical health, while supporting those who experience mental illness each year,” says Margaret Eaton, National CEO, CMHA.

“Everyone has mental health and it’s likely we all will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives. By pushing up and learning about mental health, we hope to break down the stigma attached to mental illness so that Canadians don’t think twice about reaching out for help.”

The Push-Up Challenge is a free event, and fundraising is optional. Participants can choose to fundraise and support the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Winter is a difficult time of year for many people and their mental health. A combination of seasonal stressors and dark, cold days can amplify feelings of “the winter blues”, or worse conditions. In fact, February is one of the most challenging months for individuals living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a clinical condition impacting 2-3% of people living in Canada.

Although SAD impacts a small percentage of Canadians, “the winter blues,” on the other hand, are more common than you think. Around 60% of people living in Canada report experiencing symptoms of sadness or unhappiness related to the dark, cold weather. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat “the winter blues” that’s within everyone’s reach: just get your body moving!

By participating in The Push-Up Challenge, participants of all ages and abilities will push-up to promote their mental well-being while learning about mental health, with the number of daily push-ups changing to reflect a vital mental health fact. Alternatives to push-ups are also encouraged, such as sit-ups, squats, or other alternative exercises. Progress can be logged and tracked through a dedicated app which also allows you to easily fundraise and see how your mates are going with the event.

The Push-Up Challenge has been taking place in Australia for the past 7 years, with over 500,000 participants completing 900 million push-ups and raising over $36 million for mental health. 2024 marks the first time the event will take place Canada, run by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

You can register for The Push-Up Challenge as an individual, a team, or get your whole workplace, club, gym, or school involved at www.thepushupchallenge.ca.


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