Staying active means you’ll be healthier, have more energy, meet new people, and feel better about yourself. In sports, winning teams make a game plan to win. When you want to make a change, like getting active, you also need a plan to help you succeed.
Remember, don’t expect too much, too soon. If you haven’t been active for 10 years, you can’t expect to run a marathon after a few weeks of exercise. Here are some tips to help you set goals that you’ll be able to reach.
It’s a good idea to think about your goals, so you can get to where you want to be. Lots of people find SMART goals helpful.
For example, your goal might be going for a brisk, 30-minute walk, 5 days a week, all year long. This goal is a SMART goal because it lets you decide when you’ll walk (in the morning, during your lunch break, or after you’ve put your children to bed). It’s also ensures that you’ll do enough walking to make it worthwhile, and you can take 2 days a week off.
Make sure it’s safe for you to exercise. Being active is safe for most people, but if you’re not sure, do the
Get Active Questionnaire to see if you need to talk to your health provider before you start.
Staying safe means wearing the right gear, including:
It’s important to drink fluids when you’re active. Drink about 2 cups (500 mL) of fluid, 2 hours before you exercise. Then drink enough fluid while you’re exercising to replace the water you lose from sweating.
Water is okay to drink if you’re exercising for less than an hour. If you’re doing intense exercise for longer than an hour, drink sport drinks or juice mixed with water. These drinks give you sugar and salt, which you lose during exercise.
When setting up your physical activity plan, remember that it’s easier to be active if the places where you live, work, or go to school support being active. For example, it will help you stick to your plan if you:
When you’re trying to be active, encourage others to be active at your school, work, and in your community.
Current as of: October 24, 2018
Author: Chronic Disease Prevention, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.