Active Living 101

Physical activity, or exercise, is the movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, biking, swimming, running, gardening, dancing, or climbing the stairs are examples of exercise. You should pick a physical activity that is at moderate intensity or high intensity (depending on your fitness level) to receive health benefits from it.

  • Moderate intensity exercise is an exercise which requires a modest amount of effort and noticeably accelerates the heart rate. Examples of moderate intensity exercise include brisk walking, gardening, dancing, and leisurely cycling.
  • High intensity is an exercise which requires a large amount of effort and causes fast breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate. Examples of high intensity exercise include running, fast cycling, aerobics, fast swimming and competitive sports and games (football, hockey, basketball, cross country running).

Adults aged 18-64 years should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity cardio physical activity (walking, running, or biking) or 75 minutes per week of high intensity cardio physical activity. This means you should be active for at least 20 minutes every day of the week. You should also add muscle-strengthening exercises like lifting weights or using resistance bands at least two times per week.

Regular physical activity is good for you and your body. It can help improve your quality of life regardless if you have a chronic disease (like diabetes) or a disability. Always make sure you talk to your doctor first before starting a new exercise program. 

Daily physical activity can lower the risk of:

  • Early death
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Breast and colon cancer

Other benefits of daily regular physical activity are:

  • Strengthening your bones
  • Lowering unhealthy amounts of body fat
  • Improve heart and lung health
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reduce symptoms of depression