Our Blog

Advice to help you live your healthiest life, covering fitness, nutrition, mental health, self-care and much more.

Medical learners inspire kids to get active

This spring, medical learners are volunteering as Kids Run Club (KRC) coaches in Halifax, helping school kids discover the joy of running and healthy living.Dr. Louis Martin is a second-year family medicine resident who is volunteering with the KRC at St. Catherine’s Elementary School. One lunch hour a week, he and Jill Lamb, a first-year Dalhousie medical student, guide students through a warm-up and then head outside for a 20-minute run. When they return to the gym for a cool-down, the coaches share healthy living tips with the students.

Coaching is an opportunity to spend time with the kids on their own turf, says Dr. Martin. “I do get the chance to interact with children regularly through family medicine clinics, as well as on inpatient rotations, but it’s a different experience to interact with them in an environment in which they are comfortable.”

Dr. Martin has come full circle with KRC. He has participated in the program for more than 14 years, starting when he was a student at LeMarchant-St. Thomas School in Halifax. He was a KRC coach at local schools all through medical school.

He loves how KRC promotes healthy habits that will benefit kids their whole lives. “Being a family medicine resident and working in a field that has a strong a focus on preventative health, it’s satisfying to be able to be involved in promoting a healthy lifestyle to children early in their lives,” he says.

Thousands of kids and youth in communities across Nova Scotia take part in KRC each year. The free, school-based program makes movement fun and accessible for all kids, regardless of their skill or ability level.

Some standout schools taking part this year include O’Connell Drive Elementary in Porters Lake, where almost 200 kids are participating. At H.M. MacDonald Elementary in Antigonish, all staff and students are running daily and logging their distance. Their goal? To “run” across Canada. L’nu Education Centre in Bear River First Nation has about 15 students who have been running three times per week all year, including during remote learning.

That’s another great thing about KRC – the program can adapt to changing COVID-19 restrictions.

With many sports and recreation programs unavailable during the pandemic, kids have had less opportunities for physical activity, which has led to soaring rates of screentime. The KRC countered that trend with KRC Let’s Move, a free, bilingual program that helps get students moving with fun five-minute videos they can do in the classroom or during at-home learning.

Dr. Martin says KRC has been a good way to reintroduce activity to their routine now that they’re back in school. “It’s a great opportunity to provide an avenue for kids to interact with one another through sport and work toward a common goal – the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run.”

Kids Run Club has a long and strong connection with Doctors Nova Scotia. The association started the program back in 2004; KRC participation has grown annually and at its peak, has reached more than 17,000 youth at 270 schools and community groups across Nova Scotia.

Now a registered charity and the flagship program of the Doctors Nova Scotia Healthy Tomorrow Foundation, KRC continues to help Nova Scotia youngsters discover that fitness can be fun.

Click for more details and learn how your school or community group can take part in KRC.

Want more information on healthy living and health-care delivery sent directly to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter to get all of our content first!

Nova Scotia quick links

Info if you test positive for COVID-19
Report and Support screening form
Drop-in vaccination clinics in Nova Scotia
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
Getting tested for COVID-19
Get rapid tests
Self-isolating guidelines
Info on long COVID
Mental health and well-being
Nova Scotia COVID-19 resources
Download the free COVID Alert app