Healthier Together Challenge

Embark on your 2024 wellness journey by joining the 4th Edition of the Healthier Together Challenge! This fantastic opportunity allows you to kickstart your fitness journey at your own pace while enjoying the support and accountability of your peers. This year's theme is Total Body Fitness, a 6-week program tailored for everyone, regardless of fitness level, to explore the four key elements of fitness:

🏃‍♂️ Cardiovascular Fitness: Boost overall health and well-being.

💪 Strength Training: Enhance muscle and bone health.

🤸‍♀️ Flexibility: Liberate your body's movement.

⚖️ Stability and Balance: Achieve equilibrium in mind and body.

And of course, the virtual racecourse and friendly competition is back!

Registration for Team Captains is now open at Create your team before the start of the challenge on February 5th, 2024. For more details about the challenge, you can:

New this Year

Kick off each Monday by participating in a OPTIONAL 30-minute virtual session led by diverse experts, setting the tone for the new challenge theme. Join to explore the benefits of various fitness elements, gather valuable tips, and connect with colleagues. Simply click on the session date to register. Sessions are open to all faculty and staff, regardless of if you participate in the challenge or not.

Week 1: Cardio

Understand the benefits of performing 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity per week and how you can slowly build tolerance with Dr. Christopher Labos, Cardiologist and freelance contributor for the Montreal Gazette and CJAD.

Watch the recording here.

Week 2: Strength

Strength training isn’t just about bulking up and building muscle mass! Discover the benefits of strength training and the different ways you can perform resistance training with no equipment with Amélie McGarrell, Personal Trainer at McGill Recreation.

Watch the recording here.

Week 3: Flexibility

Learn the science of stretching, what causes tightness in our muscles and joints, and explore the most effective strategies for enhancing flexibility and alleviating tension. Get practical tips for improving your range of motion, mobility, posture and overall well-being with Gail Garceau, Essentrics Master Trainer & Instructor for Pro/Olympic Athletes

Watch the recording here.

Week 4: Balance

Having good balance helps prevent falls, injury, and simply makes your daily activities easier to perform. Learn how to maintain your balance which requires coordination from your muscles, tendons, bones, eyes, ears and brain with Liliana Ospina, Yoga Instructor at McGill Recreation.

Watch the recording here.

Week 5: Getting the Knots Out (Self-Massage)

Learn about the origins of muscle "knots" and their significant role in various common pains affecting the lower back, legs, and neck. Discover effective self-massage techniques to alleviate these trigger points and promote relief with Noémie Bérubé, Physiotherapist and Kinesiologist at the McGill Sport Clinic.

Watch the recording here.

Week 6: Keep it Going!

For the last week of the challenge, celebrate what you’ve accomplished and learn how you can stay motivated and incorporate these different themes into your routine!

March 11th at 1 PM with Jill Barker, Fitness Expert and Fitness Columnist at the Montreal Gazette

Celebratory Walk

Celebrate the end of the Healthier Together Challenge, on March 20th from 12-1 pm, with a walk up the hill, led by Megan Phillips, Science Outreach Educator from the Office of Science Outreach. Join us to get some fresh air and exercise and connect with colleagues to celebrate your last 6-weeks of hard work! We will be stopping at various points to observe and reflect on nature around us, big and small, from the urban landscape to the foot of Mount-Royal.

Meet in front of the McGill Education building (3700 Mc Tavish St, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2).  We will be leaving at 12:05 sharp and return for 1:00 pm. The walk will be confirmed with you via e-mail the day before. Please wear clothing appropriate for the cool weather and comfortable boots.

Note: In the case of rain or heavy snow, the walk will be pushed to Thursday, March 21st from 12-1 pm.

March 20th from 12 - 1 PM with Megan Phillips, Science Outreach Educator.

How does the challenge work?

Using a user-friendly online platform or app (nVIGORus), teams of 4 or more engage in a friendly competition against other McGill teams in a virtual race across Africa from February 5th, 2024 to March 18th, 2024 inclusively. 

Participants collect points by engaging with others, reading daily tips, practicing mood booster activities, and tracking movement. Any activities such as walking, running, dancing – even vacuuming, count towards cumulating points and increasing your team’s position on the leader board. The winning team gets bragging rights!

Why should I participate?

The reasons are endless - but they include connecting with colleagues, team building, boosting morale, learning healthy tips and strategies, and improving your mood. This challenge has also been scientifically proven to improve physical activity levels, decrease stress and improve sleep. And it motivates you to move your body during winter.

How do I join the challenge?

  1. Solicit your colleagues to form a team of 4 or more, designate a captain and choose a team name (or find a team captain and ask to join their team).
  2. The team captain signs-into nVIGORus and enters the team name. They then invite their team members to join by sending invitations from the platform to their email addresses.
  3. All team members must be registered in nVIGORus. Registration closes on February 12, 2024 (even if the challenge begins on February 5th). 

Note for team captains and team members: If you already have an account from the last challenge, simply sign-in using your account information. If not, create an account with Access Code NVG_74881a


Before starting with a cardiovascular training program, get clearance from a health professional if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, history of dizziness and fainting, uncharacteristic shortness of breath after mild exercise, and arthritis or muscle problems.

Questions? Email contact [at] or [at] 


I am older and/or have a disability that makes it difficult to exercise, can I still participate?

You should definitely participate! In order to improve fairness and encourage participation, extra points will be awarded for the steps counts of certain age groups. These adjustments are based on population physical activity levels in North America.

In addition, if you have a disability, you will get ever more points

➢ 15% bonus steps for participants with a minor disability that impacts their ability to perform physical activity

➢ 30% bonus steps for participants with a major disability that impacts their ability to perform physical activity

How time-consuming is this challenge?

Aside from the self-assessments which may take about 15 minutes, participating in the challenge requires little time. All you need is to track your physical activity and read the tip of the day, which takes less than 2 minutes. You can also download the app on your phone to making tracking easier.

What is the Self-Assessment?

You will need to complete self-evaluations and complete different exercises in order to know your baseline fitness level. At the end of the challenge, you will see how your physical activity and fitness level changed and developed!

Each evaluation includes complementary resources to educate the participant on that aspect of their health. These reading materials provide key information that is scientifically proven and currently recommended by health professionals. You will be provided with daily tips from the organizers to help you on your journey.

As you track your progress throughout the challenge, you will receive important feedback to support healthy behaviour change.

How does the challenge help me connect with colleagues?

A message board allows you to encourage your peers, and you can view how other McGill teams are doing. You can also join the weekly sessions and connect with your peers.


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