Be Active

While focusing on fitness can seem like a big commitment, we can all be physically active in some way every day. The important part is finding activities that suit your abilities and that you enjoy!

What is "Being Active?"

Being active includes anything we do in our daily lives that involves moving our bodies, such as lifting objects, walking from one place to the next, climbing the stairs, playing sports, or going to the gym. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology provides physical activity guidelines that describe the amount and type of physical activity that offers health benefits for  Canadians based on their age. For many of us, we don’t move around as much on a daily basis as we would have in past times because of new conveniences such as computers, cars, escalators, etc. While technology has made our lives easier in some ways, it has also made fitting in physical activity deliberate choice. However, you can learn to fit in simple actions throughout each day to stay active as well as consider more structured activities such as joining a sports team or an exercise class or program.

 
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Benefits of Being Active
 

Making an effort to be active can improve our mental wellbeing as much as it improves our physical health! If our bodies are working well, our minds are more likely to be working well and likewise, if our minds are working well, our physical bodies are likely to function better. Staying active can improve our mental health and wellbeing by:

  • reducing levels of anxiety,

  • boosting our mood,

  • helping us gain a sense of mastery,

  • clearing our mind while reducing feelings of worry,

  • helping us better cope with stress,

  • increasing our self-esteem,

  • helping us to be more resourceful and productive, and

  • giving us an opportunity to connect with others.

How to Be Active
 

Sometimes we may feel guilty taking a break from our work or busy schedule to be active. However, one way to combat mental fatigue is by keeping our physical health in good shape. It takes a conscious effort and commitment to be more active. We all have 24 hours in each day so it’s up to us to make small adjustments to our lifestyle and daily routine to create a bit more space to be physically active. So choose to be active by trying out some of these simple suggestions and local opportunities.

Simple Suggestions
 
  • Walk, ride, or roll to nearby errands.

  • If possible, take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator.

  • Park father away at shopping malls and walk the rest of the way.

  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk, ride, or roll the rest of the way.

  • Walk over to speak with your colleagues instead of emailing or phoning them.

  • Invite friends or family to join you for a walk or hike or try a community organized event.

  • Be sure to stand up, stretch, or move however you are able after sitting for 60 minutes.