Why should I be active?
Being active helps lower your risk of heart disease and stroke because it can:
- Lower your cholesterol levels
- Reduce your blood pressure
- Help to control type 2 diabetes
- Keep your weight at a healthy level
The goal: at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. The activity doesn't have to be non-stop. You can do 10 minutes or more at a time throughout the day to reach your daily total.
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk during lunch,
- Play for 10 minutes with your kids after work,
- Spend 15 minutes walking the dog
If you're short on time, remember that any physical activity is better than none. However, the more active you are the greater the health benefits.
If you're not active now, don't worry, you don’t have to suddenly embark on an Olympic-training program. You can begin with small changes and build your momentum, until one day you can really push it. Start with walking and climbing stairs. You will start to feel the benefits within one week.
What can I do?
- Carrying groceries or toddlers
- Heavy yard work
- Weight training
Time to push it:
As you get stronger, you can work harder. The harder you work, the harder your heart works and that is good for your health.
The bonus: physical activity will give you more energy and help you cope better with your busy week.
If you can’t do anything else, start walking! Walking is easy, fun and provides instant benefits. It’s the body’s natural movement that is virtually injury-free. Walk around the block, in the mall or down the hall in your building. Join a walking group or start your own – walking is a great way to socialize too.