The Unrecognized Threat

The numbers are abysmal!

Statistics Canada recently released a report that shows how little Canadians are exercising. Only 15 per cent of adult Canadians are moderately active. “Moderately active” is defined as getting a recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. This categorizes 85% of us as inactive, getting the equivalent of less than a half-hour of walking each day.

Those getting the least exercise are, in fact, our children. Only 7% of Canadians between the ages of 5 and 17 are moderately active. Whatever happened to going outside to play? It has been replaced in large part by video games, social media websites and television. Children should have at least 60 minutes of activity each day.

Being sedentary is becoming a major activity. Canadians say they sit most of the day at work, and then once again when they get home. The statics report that adults spend an average of 9.5 hours a day in sedentary pursuits, the equivalent of about 69 per cent of their waking hours. We get so caught up in our busy lives we do not recognize our inactivity. This is not a healthy trend. Inactivity leads to weaker muscles and increased body fat percentage which in turn leads to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress and anxiety.

Exercising at the gym is great but many people say they cannot afford the cost or commit the time. There are other ways to get exercise other than hitting the gym. Exercise means getting up and moving. When it is fun you hardly notice you are exercising at all. Even the little things count. Try these activities for fun sources of exercise:

  • Play catch, Frisbee or a game of tag
  • Walk to the store and school (or work)
  • Walk the dog
  • Ride your bike
  • Garden, mow the lawn
  • Go bowling
  • Chase the dog around in the back yard
  • Go for a hike or bike ride or even better on a hilly forest path
  • Take the stairs
  • Join a dance class
  • Go swimming
  • Try rock climbing
  • Go for a walk after dinner to watch the sun set
  • Go for a jog
  • Come up with your own way to get moving!

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