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  Fact Sheet - Healthy Living: Physical Activity
 
 
Healthy living refers to the notion of maintaining a healthy mind and body by following simple common sense practices in your daily routines. There are several elements that a person needs take into consideration when making choices for a healthy living: food and nutrition, physical activity, stress & mental health, drug & alcohol abuse.
 

Physical Activity:

Regular physical activity adds many benefits to your overall health. It helps control your weight and may help reduce your risk of or manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and some cancers.? Physical activity is also important to build strong muscles, bones, and joints; improve flexibility and balance; ward off depression; and improve mood and a sense of wellbeing.? Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. He following is list of things you can do to stay? fit.

  • Physical activity may include structured activities such as walking, running, basketball, or other sports. ?It may also include daily activities such as household chores, yard work, or walking the dog. Pick a combination of structured and daily activities that fit your schedule.

  • Check with your health care provider. If you have a chronic health problem such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, ask your health care provider about what type and amount of physical activity is right for you.

  • If you have not been inactive for a while, start slowly and work up to 30 minutes a day at a pace that is comfortable for you. If you are unable to be active for 30 minutes at one time, accumulate activity over the course of the day in 10- to 15-minute sessions.

  • Start slowly. Incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine and gradually work up to the 30-minute goal to improve health and manage your weight.

  • Set goals. Set short-term and long-term goals and celebrate every success.

  • Track progress. Keep an activity log to track your progress. Note when you worked out, what activity you did, how long you did the activity, and how you felt during your work out.

  • Think variety. Choose a variety of physical activities to help you meet your goals, prevent boredom, and keep your mind and body challenged.

  • Be comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and ones that are appropriate to the activity you will be doing.

  • Listen to your body. Stop exercising and consult your health care provider if you experience chest discomfort or pain, dizziness, severe headache, or other unusual symptoms while you work out. If pain does not go away, get medical help right away. If you are feeling fatigued or sick, take time off from your routine to rest. You can ease back into your program when you start feeling better.

  • Eat nutritious foods. Choose a variety of nutritious foods every day. Remember that your health and weight depend on both your eating plan and physical activity level.?

The following is a list of easy activities that you can do to improve different aspects of your physical activity:

1. Endurance
  • Continuous activity that make you feel warm and breathe deeply
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve your heart, lungs, and circulatory system

2. Flexibility

  • Gentle reaching, bending, and stretching.
  • Keep muscles relaxed and joints mobile.
  • Move more easily and be more agile.

3. Strength and Balance

  • Lift weights, include resistance activities
  • Improve balance and posture
  • Keep muscles and bones strong?

Regular physical activity will help you feel, move, and look better. Whether your goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight or improve your health, becoming physically active is a step in the right direction. Take advantage of the health benefits of physical activity and make it a part of your life.


 

Selected resources:

Active Living Coalition for Older Adults

33 Laird Drive
Toronto, ON
M4G 3S9

Website: http://www.alcoa.ca/e/index.htm

Tel: 416 - 423 - 2163
Fax: 416 - 423 - 2112
Toll Free Number: 1 800 549 9799

E-mail: alcoa@ca.inter.net

Canadian Health Network

www.canadianhealthnetwork.org/1seniors.html

Health Canada

Physical Activity Guide for Older Adults



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