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Your Best Health: Adult Weight Management

Active living and planned activity

Active living

Active living means finding ways to move more every day. You’ll naturally have times in your life where you’re more active than others, but overall active living is part of your daily life. It’s not something you do once in a while.

Active living includes the things you do at home, at work, and how you get around. For example, you might:

  • do extra walking while you put away your clean laundry
  • go the long way around to get to the photocopier at work
  • walk to the mailbox instead of driving
  • get off the elevator a floor below where you’re going and use the stairs

Finding more active ways of doing the things you already do is a great start to a more active life.

Planned activity

Planned activity is a specific time or event in your day like exercise or sports. Planned activity is doing activity just for the sake of doing that activity. For example you might:

  • march in place for 5 minutes in a row when it’s too cold to walk outside
  • go for a walk around the block with a friend
  • go for a bike ride with your children or grandchildren
  • take a dance class

If you live a very active life through your daily activities, you may not need to plan more activities. However, most of us need planned activities to help us meet our active living goals.

Planned activity also includes:

  • things that get our heart rates up (cardio) like walking, cycling, or swimming
  • muscle strengthening (resistance) like using resistance bands or doing body weight exercises
  • bending and stretching (flexibility) like yoga or Pilates

Planned activity doesn’t have to cost a lot. Many public libraries have exercise videos you can check out. Also check your local community centres for free classes if you’re interested.

Research from Scotland shows that exercise may naturally lower your appetite. In brain scans done after exercise, it looks like the brain is tricked into finding low-calorie foods like fruit and vegetables more appealing than fries or pizza.

Something to ask yourself...

Go to your reflection journal and consider:

  • What parts of your day can you make more active?
  • Are there any sports or exercises you enjoy and would like to do more of or try again?​