March 1st, 2024

Viva Vitality: Move more, sit less!

By Lisa Doyle on February 9, 2024.

As the winter season blankets southern Alberta, staying as active as you typically do may present a unique set of challenges. Whether contending with icy conditions and cooler temperatures or simply seeking inspiration for activities, there are numerous ways to integrate physical activity into your routine, regardless of the season.

Sustaining a healthy level of physical activity is essential for a well-rounded and vibrant lifestyle. The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines emphasize the importance of adults aged 18-64 engaging in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

This weekly target can be achieved through smaller 10-minute sessions that easily fit into everyone’s schedules. Moreover, the guidelines also advise integrating strength training into your routine a minimum of twice a week, emphasizing major muscle groups.

Additionally, all movement matters and there is a focus on incorporating several hours of light physical activity, including standing, into your daily activities. Individuals aged 65 and above have similar guidelines as adults, with the additional inclusion of balance exercises to proactively reduce the risk of falls.

Some benefits of following the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines include:

– Improved energy levels;

– Increased strength and fitness;

– Improved mood;

– Better sleep;

– Reduced risk for chronic diseases;

– Reduced risk for premature death.

Unlock the joy of staying active, even in winter! Check out the list below for inspiration on effortlessly weaving physical activity into your life. Your fitness journey should be enjoyable, not a chore. Explore new community activities and discover exciting additions to your daily routine.

Some examples of ways to integrate physical activity into your daily routine include:

– Mall walking;

– Home workouts;

– Snowshoeing;

– Swimming at your local indoor pool;

– Register for activities at your local community centre;

– Take the stairs;

– Shovel snow;

– Join a recreational sports team;

– Do something active with the family, such as a nature walk on the weekend;

– Dance to your favourite music;

– Join a physical activity challenge (check out ParticipACTION),

– Find an exercise buddy to help with accountability and motivation.

For more information on the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, the benefits of physical activity, and ways to move more, visit: participaction.com and healthiertogether.ca.

Lisa Doyle is a health promotion facilitator with Alberta Health Services Population and Public Health.

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