Why Be Active?
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 heart health, balance and coordination. There are also mental health benefits to being active, such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Also, it helps to improve sleep, and provides social time with others. These benefits are even greater when activity is outdoors in nature. Physical Activity in Pregnancy is also important for the health of mom and baby.
Activity, Screen Time and Sleep – How Much and Tips
It is recommended that;
- Adults age 18–64 years be active regularly with 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week in bouts of at least 10 minutes. Add strength activities at least 2 times a week.
- Pregnant adults be physically active during pregnancy.
- Adults age 65 years and over, be active regularly with 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week in bouts of at least 10 minutes. Add strength activities at least 2 times a week. Add balance activities if you have poor mobility. Here are some ideas for older adults to get more active.
- Reduce time spent sitting. Try to get up and move for a few minutes after up to 2 hours of sitting or lying down during your day.
- Reduce recreational screen time. Make an effort to reduce the time you spend on screens by setting up rules, like no screens at the table or screens off at a certain time, or put your charging stations out of reach to reduce temptation. Do you find you or your family are “addicted” to your screens? Try to pause your screens spend that extra time with family/friends and getting active. Willing to take the leap? Try our Pause to Play Challenge.
- Get enough quality sleep;
- Make time for sleep. Each person needs a different amount of sleep. You can learn what your sleep needs are by noting whether you feel rested in the morning and alert during the day.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at the same time each day
- Set the stage for sleep by making a comfortable sleep environment. Limit noise and light distractions. Avoid stimulants close to bedtime (caffeine, nicotine and other medications). Alcohol can disturb your sleep, by waking you up during the night and early morning.
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
It is important for adults to have both a healthy body and a healthy mind as each is connected to the other. Ignoring either one could affect your physical and mental well-being. For tips have a look at our fact sheets;
- Mental Well-Being Fact Sheet
- Healthy Eating Fact Sheet
- Physical Activity Fact Sheet
- Clever Replies to Damaging Remarks
Adults as Allies
Adults not only benefit from being physically active for their own physical and mental well-being, but also as Parents of Children, Parents of Teens and as leaders Working with Children and Teens there is an opportunity to guide and set an example for our 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 and healthy eating in a way that also promotes positive body image and self-esteem.
- Here are some ideas for playing outdoors with children and youth.
Need Help Getting Active?
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.
- Make a plan, explore what you like to do and set small achievable goals. Your plan can be an individual plan or a family plan.
- Pause to Play! Make an effort to pause your screens. And if you are up for more, invite your family to take the Pause to Play Challenge to see what you can do to flip the switch at home. Need some help managing screen time with your family? Find some tips below.
- Tips for Teaching Good Screen Time Habits for Parenting Teenagers and for Parenting Children.
- Go outdoors in nature, as you are more likely to be active just by stepping outside.
- Explore what is happening in your community such as local trails, low or no cost activities, and cycling events.
- Join or start a walking group at home, at your workplace, or with your neighbours. You can even use pedometers to help you move more.
- Short on time? Try these last-minute free play ideas to plan activities with your family.
- Walk whenever and wherever you can. It requires little equipment, skill and is very affordable. Move about the community to visit, shop, socialize or just enjoy your surroundings! Check out your local parks and trails.
- Get on a Bike. Try biking to work! Extra tips for staying safe on the road and safe cycling. Or just go for a leisurely ride. check out your local cycling opportunities;
- Looking for financial help with recreation opportunities? If you or your family are having trouble getting involved, finding or paying for recreation, find out what supports are available to you.
- Get involved in your community by helping to make it more walk or bike friendly, building community gardens and more.
- Find time to be active when you are doing shift work. It can help with sleep and establishing a routine.
- Get involved with making your workplace more physically active.
Overall Healthy Aging. The evidence is clear. Older adults can live longer, healthier lives by being physically active, eating in a healthy way, staying socially connected, and taking steps to minimize the risks for falls.
Physical Activity plays an important role in your health, well-being and quality of life for all ages. Being active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many health problems and it also helps your muscles be stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.
Healthy Body and Mind. All physical activity contributes to a healthy body and mind but being outdoors adds an important benefit. Being in nature contributes to calming the brain, increasing creativity, decreasing anger and aggression, and enhancing learning.
Getting Active. Here are some Tips to Get Active. If you are looking for opportunities to be active close to home, check out Movin’ Around the Tri-County.