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Why be Active?

Being physically active helps keep your body and mind healthy and strong.

Regular physical activity is important for everybody at every age. It can lower the risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 Diabetes and some cancers. Physical activity relieves tension and stress, and can help you have more energy and feel good about yourself. Physical activity also builds strong muscles and bones to improve posture and balance.

Every bit of physical activity counts. More is better. Find ways to make it part of your daily routine.

If you want to learn more about how much physical activity is needed, tips to get started, making it part of your day, or to help your family be active--you’ve come to the right place.

The following video by Dr. Mike Evans explains about how physical activity is the single best thing you can do for your health. (This video is closed captioned).


Becoming physically active is a very important step toward a lifetime of good health.
For almost everyone, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks. For some people, getting advice from a qualified exercise professional or health care provider is important.

Here are some things to think about when getting started:

  • Complete this Get Active Questionnaire as you prepare to become more physically active. Refer to the Reference Document if you have answered ‘yes’ to questions on the Questionnaire.
  • Start slowly. Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time to be helpful.
  • Fit physical activity into things you already do, and make it part of your daily routine. For example, use a push mower instead of a riding mower, walk to school or the store instead of driving, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water while being physically active.
  • Warm up before and stretch after physical activity. 
  • Set goals that are small and realistic. When you reach a goal, celebrate in a healthy way.

  Here are some ways to keep motivated to be active:

  • Track your physical activity to help you to meet your goals. Keep a record of what sort of activity you do, how long, and how active you were (e.g. less active, fairly active, or very active). Record the people, events or situations that helped you to be active or got in the way of your plans.
  • There many different tools you can use to track your activity. These include activity trackers you can wear and free apps for mobile devices. These tools can help track daily activities such as walking, cycling and running. They can also track distance, time spent being active, number of steps taken and calories burned.
  • Order or download a copy of the 10,000 Steps tracking booklet from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. The booklet is useful if you’re using a pedometer. Contact the resource order line at 1-705-721-7520 extension 8323, or toll-free 1-877-721-7520 extension 8323. This resource provides information about getting started with a walking program and nutrition and safety tips. 
  • Choose activities you enjoy. The more you look forward to being active, the more likely you will make time for it. Explore local parks and trails with family and friends.
  • Invite a friend or family member to join you. It’s a great way to build and strengthen relationships. Having a partner can also motivate you to stick to your goals.
  • Plan active play time with your family. By being physically active, you can become a role model for your children and grandchildren.
  • Keep trying. It may take several tries to include physical activity in 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 wins! Every step along the way toward a healthier life is something to be proud of!

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