When it comes to maintaining your health, exercise is key. It can be adapted to any situation.
Staying active prolongs life expectancy. It also has a number of benefits such as:
- Preventing chronic diseases:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Improves focus and concentration
- Helps maintain mental health
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress
- Helps maintain good muscle mass
- Increases bone density
- Helps adults and seniors remain independent for longer.
You don't need to run a marathon to be physically active. Walking can be a great place to start. If you walk at least 5 days a week at a good pace, you are considered an active person. You can also stay motivated by inviting someone to join you.
Intensity refers to the energy you expend while exercising. Here's how to distinguish between various intensity levels:
- Light intensity: Your breathing is a little heavier than normal but you can still hold a regular conversation.
- Moderate intensity: Your breathing is heavier than normal and you can speak in short sentences only.
- High intensity: Your breathing is very heavy and you can only speak in very short sentences.
Here are a few examples of activities you can do according to various intensity levels:
|Light intensity||Moderate intensity||High intensity|
|Walking at a slow pace||Walking at a fast pace||Running|
|Golfing||Skating||Swimming or cycling|
at a high speed
|Housekeeping||Playing games and|
sports with children
|Cross-country skiing, volleyball|
or competitive hockey
Duration and objectives
Ideally, you should be active every day, setting realistic and gradual goals to get there. For example, doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. To achieve this, try doing 3 short sessions of 10 minutes each.
Here are a few recommendations for adults:
- A total of 150 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic activity per week.
- At least 2 strength-training activities per week.
- 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep with a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
- No more than 8 hours of sedentary activity (not active) per day. This includes the following:
- No more than 3 hours of screen time per day (outside of work hours)
- Interrupting long periods of time spent sitting down as often as possible.
- For people over the age of 65, practise exercises that work on balance.
For young people between the ages of 5 and 17, at least 1 hour of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity per day is recommended.
A few tips
- Choose activities that you enjoy
- Establish a routine
- Reduce your screen time outside of work
- Choose active modes of transportation to get from point A to point B (e.g., walking, biking, or running)
- Spread your workouts throughout the week
- Join a group or team
You can also consult a kinesiologist to set up an exercise routine adapted to your needs.