Ten Tips to Get You Moving For Health (from Health Canada web-page)
Establish a Minimum Personal Activity Level
- 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.
- Activities need not be continuous; they can be intermittent throughout the day and built up in periods of at least 10 minutes each.
Discover Your Personal Barriers and Work to Overcome Them
- Identifying and overcoming your barriers to physical activity are critical to being successful
Set a Personal Physical Activity Goal and Strive to Achieve It
- Commit to fitting into your favourite jeans, building strength to playing with your grandchildren or increasing endurance to do a 5K walk
Avoid Trying to do Too Much Too Soon
- Anyone planning to engage in a physical activity program after a period of inactivity, or if you have any health problems, use tobacco, are a man over 40 or a woman over 50, you are strongly urged to check with a health professional first, as a precaution.
- When commencing a physical activity program, remember to start slowly and progress gradually.
- If unsure, refer to the Par-Q medical questionnaire and check with your health professional.
- Practice Safety Precautions when Engaging in Activities
- Ensure that the environment is well lit and safe
- Warm-up, stretch lightly and wear appropriate clothes and shoes
- Always wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding or inline skating
- Be aware of signs of overexertion (difficulty breathing, dizziness, excessive fatigue) - Do not over-exert yourself!
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your activity session
Form a Group and Make it More Fun
- Involve family members, friends and neighbours to socialize and sustain motivation
- Involve children in active family activities and games such as hiking or playing tag
Keep Yourself Motivated by Varying Your Activities
- Try new activities or take up a new hobby such as gardening, dancing or yoga
Make Your School or Work Environment Work for You
- Make stairways accessible to people as an alternative to using the elevator
- Request flexible work schedules which enables you to take a lunch break which allows time for physical activity
- Try performing some relaxing stretches or deep breathing techniques at your desk chair
Make Your Home Environment Work for You
- Perform physical activities while watching television or during commercial breaks (jumping jacks, jump rope, sit on a stability ball, etc.)
- Use readily available household products to build strength (soup cans for bicep curls and a strong box for stepping)
- Other suggestions: mow your lawn with a push mower; wash your dishes by hand once in a while; sweep, dust or vacuum daily (e.g. bedrooms on Monday, living room on Tuesday, dining room on Wednesday, etc.)
- Do whatever you can to make physical activity more enjoyable such as listening to music while being active