Physical Activity

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Becoming Active

Key Points:

Think about how being inactive affects you and your health and how being more active could benefit you.  See common reasons people give for being inactive (PDF) and some suggested ideas to overcome these challenges.

There are also several factors (e.g. demographic, environmental, psychological, social and workplace) that influence whether an individual will be active or not (PDF).

Tips:

  • Know that becoming more physically active is a very important step toward a lifetime of good health; there are so many benefits.
  • If you have health concerns, have not been active or want to do something physically challenging, it’s important to consult with your health care provider before getting started.
  • Start off slowly.  Physical activity doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming in order to be beneficial.  Every little bit is important.  For example, try walking to the neighbourhood store instead of driving.
  • Incorporate physical activity into things you already do, and make it part of your daily routine.  This will help you to find the time in your busy schedule.  For example, try using a push mower instead of a riding mower, walk to the grocery store instead of driving, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. 
  • Set realistic goals that are small and attainable and celebrate in a healthy way each time you achieve one.
  • Choose activities you enjoy. The more you look forward to being active, the more likely you will be to make time for it.
  • Invite a friend or family member to join you.  It’s a great opportunity to build and strengthen relationships; having a partner can also motivate you to follow through and stick to your goals.
  • Keep trying; it may take several tries to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.   Don’t worry if you don’t succeed the first time, just stick with it.
  • Stay positive and congratulate yourself for small accomplishments.  This is important because every step along the way toward a healthier life is something to be proud of.

Source: Adapted from the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care

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