Being physically active is enjoyable, has huge health benefits and improves quality of life. It not only strengthens the body, but also makes people feel good about themselves. Physical activity reduces stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, increases energy levels, helps maintain and achieve a healthy body weight and the best part of all - it's something everyone can do.
It's fun to be active with family and friends and there are many simple ways to do it every day. Enjoy a daily walk and take the stairs instead of the elevator; spend less time in front of the television or computer and more time outside. Adults need 30 minutes of moderate activity daily most days of the week to experience the benefits of physical activity while children and youth need 90 minutes a day for healthy growth and development.
Tips to Get You Moving
- Do something you enjoy. If you love the outdoors go for a hike or a walk. If you like to shop, turn your local shopping mall or department store in to an indoor walking trail by walking around the store at a brisk pace two or three times a week.
- Make simple changes that add up. Park farther away from the entrance to the store for a few extra steps each day. Use stairs, not elevators.
- Get a partner. Find a friend who wants to get fit and work together. A partner can help keep you motivated, make a walk or hike more enjoyable, and share their experiences with you.
- Walk your dog. Make a commitment to take your dog for a walk every day. Your dog and your body will love you for it.
- Remember, the hardest thing about getting active is thinking about it, but when you do it, you'll never regret it.
- Be inventive. Use a can of soup for a dumbbell. As you get stronger, increase the challenge with a bigger can or a bag of sugar.
- Try walking for 5 minutes a day the first week, and 10 minutes a day the second week. In a month you'll have a 20-minute workout.
- Looking for more quality time with the kids? Go sliding. Go for a hike. Play a game of Frisbee. You don't need to get a babysitter if you make it a family affair. Plus, you are being a role model for healthy living for your kids.
- No one has ever come back from a healthy walk feeling worse than when they started.
- Change it up. If you get bored, you won't enjoy it. Try something new every few weeks. Learn a new sport. Take a new route on your walk.
- Take up an active hobby. Start gardening. Teach your dog (or the neighbour's) how to catch a Frisbee. Start a bird watching club.
- Most importantly, have fun. Being active can be as simple as playing a game of tag with your friends and family.
For more information on simple ways to be active, go to Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living or visit the websites below:
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