Physical activity benefits
Physical activity as a daily routine
Regular physical activity is important because it benefits your health and wellbeing today as well as in the future. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity each day can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions or diseases.
It is recommended that everyone should have at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, on all or most days of the week. This activity can be accumulated in bouts of 10 minutes or more if it’s more convenient. Remember, something is better than nothing, but more is better than something.
Many ask about what type of physical activity they can do. It can be done anywhere. Here are some ideas:
It's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows your children to see you being active, which sets a good example for them. You can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV.
If you buy exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense and other family members can use it. It's easy to have short bouts of activity several times a day. Try :
- Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.
- Work in the garden.
- Go out for a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
- Walk or bike to the grocery store instead of driving.
- When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk. Choose a hilly route. When watching TV, sit up instead of lying on the sofa. Better yet, spend a few minutes pedalling on your stationary bicycle while watching TV. Throw away your video remote control. Instead of asking someone to bring you a drink, get up off the couch and get it yourself.
- Stand up while talking on the telephone.
- Walk the dog.
- Park farther away from work and walk the extra distance.
- Stretch to reach items in high places and squat or bend to look at items at floor level.
- Keep exercise equipment repaired and use it!
At the Office
Most of us have sedentary jobs. Work takes up a significant part of the day. What can you do to increase your physical activity during the work day?
- Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk.
- Stand while talking on the telephone.
- Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
- Walk while waiting for the plane at the airport.
- Stay at hotels with fitness centers or swimming pools and use them while on business trips.
- Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.
- Form a sports team to raise money for charity events.
- Schedule exercise time on your business calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.
- Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.
- Walk around your building during lunch break.
Play and recreation are important for good health. Look for opportunities such as these to be active and have fun at the same time:
- Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity (hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc.)
- See the sights in new cities by walking, jogging or bicycling.
- Make a date with a friend to enjoy your favourite physical activities. Do them regularly.
- Play your favourite music while exercising, something that motivates you.
- Dance with someone or by yourself.
Join a recreational club that emphasizes physical activity.
- At the beach, sit and watch the waves instead of lying flat. Better yet, get up and walk, run or fly a kite.
- Swim laps rather than float when you go to the beach/pool.
Try out these tips and enjoy yourself and your body will love you back.