Physical activity plays an important role in physical health, well-being and quality of life as we age. Being active during this time in our lives can prevent many problems as it helps build muscle and improves cardiovascular health, balance and coordination. There are also mental health benefits to being active, such as providing social time, improved sleep, coping with stress, and an overall feeling of well-being, especially when activity is outdoors in nature.
For healthy bodies and minds it is suggested that:
It can be a challenge to be physically active. Many adults know they should be more active but just don't know where to start.
Staying active during your pregnancy has many health benefits. There are many activities you can participate in to ensure physical activity is a part of a healthy pregnancy for you. Women intending to have children should be encouraged to engage in physical activity before their pregnancy. Research shows that physical activity during pregnancy is beneficial for mother and baby.
Being active for healthy aging and staying independent. Older adults can live longer, healthier lives by staying socially connected to family, friends and neighbours, being physically active and taking steps to minimize the risk of falls. Physical activity can improve self-esteem and relaxation, reduce stress, help strengthen muscles and bones, increase energy, reduce aches and pains, and improve posture and balance.
Adults not only benefit from being physically active for their own physical and mental well-being but also as parent role models and community leader role models working with children and youth.
- As role models you can have a huge impact on the health of children and youth. Children and youth are healthier, more successful and more resilient if they have healthy relationships with adult role models.
- The Health Unit provides training to groups of parents and community leaders on how to be the most effective role model for promoting physical activity & healthy eating in a way that also promotes positive body image and self-esteem.
- Looking for ideas for playing outdoors with your children?
How Active are Canadian Children?
Every year Canada is assessed to see how we are doing re: physical activity and children and youth. Each year different themes are explored and highlighted along with our grades for the different categories.
- 2016 The Importance of Sleep.
- 2015 The Importance of Risky Play and Nature.
- 2014 How We Are Doing Compared to Other Countries.
- 2013 How Much Kids Travel Using Active Transportation.
- 2012 Active Play vs Screen Time.
- 2011 Physical Activity After School.
- 2010 Physical Activity in the Early Years.
Consider incorporating physical activity into all aspects of your daily life.
- As you move about the community to visit, shop, socialize or just enjoy your surroundings! (e.g., parks, trails, cycling events).
- During recreation time. Everyone should have access to recreation. If you or your family are having trouble getting involved in recreation, find out what supports are available to you.
- Get your hands dirty in the garden. Find community gardens in your neighbourhood.
- We support municipalities with their planning and policies (e.g., creating active transportation master plans, achieving designations such as: age friendly, walk friendly, bike friendly, youth friendly).
Consider adding physical activity into your work life.