Author: Dr.Kimberly Huynh
July 1, 2023 · 5 min
Are you active enough?
As little as 16% of Canadian adults (between the ages 18 to 79) achieve the national guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week . Thus, many live a sedentary lifestyle which is not only unhealthy but dangerous. The World Health Organization states that insufficient physical activity is the 4th leading risk factor for mortality globally.
Physical inactivity may lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancer. The World Health Organization states as countries develop economically, levels of inactivity increase due to changes in transport patterns, increased use of technology, cultural values, and increasing sedentary behaviours.
Despite this, many people find it hard to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. This can be due to busy schedules, lack of motivation, or just not knowing where to start.
Here are 10 simple ways to incorporate more movement for a healthier life.
1. Walk or Bike
If the destination you want to go is nearby, consider ditching the car or public transportation and walk or bike instead. This not only provides a great way to get exercise, but also reduces carbon emissions and saves money on transportation costs.
2. Take the Stairs
One of the easiest ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine is to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Not only does this burn calories and improve cardiovascular health, but it also strengthens leg muscles.
3. Take a Break
Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been linked to numerous health problems. Prolong sitting has been shown to cause increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and unhealthy cholesterol levels . To combat this, try standing up and stretching every half hour to hour, or take a quick walk around the office to get your blood flowing.
4. Join a Fitness Class
Fitness classes can be a great way to get moving and meet new people. Whether it's yoga, Zumba, or kickboxing, there are plenty of options to choose from. Plus, the structure of a class can help keep you accountable and motivated. Other alternatives include joining a gym or taking a fitness challenge.
5. Use a Pedometer or Fitness Tracker
Tracking your steps and other physical activity can be a great way to stay motivated and accountable. Many smartphones come equipped with pedometers, or you can invest in a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Apple Watch. Recommended daily steps are 6000-10000. Try playing music while getting your steps in to help with the motivation.
6. Play with Your Kids or Pets
Playing with your children or pets is not only fun, but it's also a great way to get moving. Whether it's playing catch with your dog or taking your kids to the park, incorporating physical activity into playtime is an easy way to make exercise a part of your daily routine.
7. Do Household Chores
Believe it or not, household chores can actually be a great way to get exercise. Vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and lawn-mowing all require physical activity, as do tasks like washing dishes or doing laundry.
8. Take a Walk after Dinner
Instead of sitting down in front of the TV after dinner, take a walk around the neighbourhood. Not only does this aid digestion, but it also provides a great way to get some fresh air and burn calories.
9. Stretch while Watching TV
If you find yourself sitting in front of the TV for prolonged periods of time, use commercial breaks or pauses in the show to stretch. This can help prevent stiffness and soreness, as well as burn a few extra calories. Drop by the clinic to learn some new stretches.
10. Park Further Away
When running errands or going to work, park further away from your destination. This not only provides an easy way to incorporate physical activity into your day, but it also reduces the stress of finding a close parking spot.
Use technology to your advantage.
FitOn contains many guided exercises for easy home workouts. Available on Google Play or Apple Store.
Keep track of your cardio such as walks, runs, and hikes with Strava. Share with your friends and family. Join fitness communities to help you stay motivated. Available on Google Play or Apple Store.
There are many easy ways to move more for a healthier life. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. Whether it's taking the stairs, walking to work, or doing household chores, there are plenty of options to choose from. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your daily routine. By doing so, you'll not only improve your physical health but also your mental well-being. So, get moving and start living a healthier life today!
 Better with Age Move more today for a healthier tomorrow 2019 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2023, from https://www.activeagingcanada.ca/assets/pdf/archive/adult-report-cards/2019-ParticipACTION-Report-Card-on-Physical-Activity-for-Adults.pdf
 Mayo Clinic Staff. “7 Great Reasons Why Exercise Matters.” Mayo Clinic, 8 Oct. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389.
 World Health Organization. “Physical Activity.” Www.who.int, 2020, www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1.