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How to Start Being Active

Good Reasons to be More Active

​​​Technology and things that help us do our work or chores faster have made our lives much easier. However, people sit a lot more during the day; for example, driving, working on a computer, or watching TV. In 2013 to 2014 slightly over half of Canadians, aged 12 years and older, said they were moderately active in their leisure time. This is a problem. Many people aren’t moving enough to stay healthy.

Regular physical activity lowers your risk of:

  • high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • colon cancer
  • obesity
  • anxiety
  • depression

Being active will also:

  • give you more energy
  • improve your posture and balance
  • help you stay at a healthy weight
  • help make you feel better about yourself

Being Active Does Not Have to Be Hard

Most people who dance, swim, play tennis, or go hiking do these activities because they enjoy them. Having fun is good for your health. Taking part in an activity that you enjoy will help you relax and help lower your stress. It will help you feel good about yourself, which is good for your mental health.

What activity appeals to you? Try to find an activity you enjoy doing by yourself or with others. If you like what you’re doing you’ll probably keep doing it. Find out about activities in your community to try new things and learn new skills.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard to be good for your body. If you don’t like going to a gym, do something outside or walk in a mall.

Be Active with Family and Make New Friends

Your time is one of the most precious gifts you can give your family. Spend more time outside with your partner and children. Walk the dog, play at a park, or teach your children a game from your childhood. These are all ways to enjoy fresh air and open space of the outdoors. If the weather isn’t good, think about taking your children and their grandparents to a museum. Walk through the displays and listen to their stories from the past.

Getting active can be a chance to make new friends. Group activities at a community or recreational (rec) centre can give you social support and a place to feel like you belong. Check out programs in your area and talk to your friends about activities that they do.

Stay Active so You’ll be Independent as You Get Older

Physical activity can help you live better as you grow older. Staying active will help you reach, bend, lift, carry, and move around easier, so you can keep doing things you like to do. The more you sit or lie around, the stiffer your joints get. Stretching and strength exercises will keep your muscles and joints moving and help stop falls and injuries.

Being active is safe for most people. Start slowly and work your way up. If you aren’t sure about how much activity you can do, talk to your healthcare provider.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be dull or boring. Do activities you enjoy more often. You may be surprised how quickly you start to feel stronger and like you have more energy.


Current as of: October 24, 2018

Author: Chronic Disease Prevention, Alberta Health Services