Physical activity improves health and well-being. It reduces stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, increases energy levels, helps you maintain and achieve a healthy body weight and it improves your outlook on life.
Research shows that physical inactivity can cause premature death, chronic disease and disability. Health Canada encourages Canadians to integrate physical activity into their every day life; at home, at school, at work, at play and on the way ... that's active living!
For children, regular physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development. For adults, it allows daily tasks to be accomplished with greater ease and comfort and with less fatigue.
For seniors, weight-bearing physical activity reduces the rate of bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Regular physical activity also maintains strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, and can help reduce the risk of falls.
Being physically active not only strengthens your body, it also makes you feel good about yourself.
What Can You Do?
Physical activity is something that everyone can do. You don't need to run a marathon or spend hours at a gym. Look for simple ways to be physically active every day.
- Take a walk once a day;
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator;
- Spend less time in front of the television or computer;
- Play actively with your kids;
- Walk, wheel or cycle for short trips; or
- Find out about walking and cycling paths nearby and use them.
To help you become more active in your every day life, consult Tips to Get Active for children, youth, adults and older adults. These are designed to help you make wise choices about physical activity; choices that will improve your health, help prevent disease and allow you to get the most out of life.
What other Resources are Available?
- Physical Activity Contribution Program: Supporting Healthy Living for Canadians
- Business Case for Active Living at Work
- Stairway to Health
- 2005 Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy
- Physical Activity Unit
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