Easy Ways to Fit in More Physical Activity Throughout the Day

Thursday, July 6, 2017

By Dr. Ted Jablonski, family physician

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, adults should be getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week to maintain a healthy body weight and stay healthy.[1] Physical activity can help us decrease stress, strengthen our bodies and increase overall energy levels[2] – especially if you properly fuel yourself. It can also prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.[3]

Though 2.5 hours may seem daunting, there is no shortage of activities you can engage in – whether at work, at home or on the go – that will help get your heart pumping.

Here are some easy ways to fit more physical activity into your day:

  • Find something you enjoy doing – the time will fly and it won’t seem like work!
  • Get involved with a group or enlist a friend to help you feel motivated!
  • Take every opportunity to walk – whether it’s a brisk 10 minute walk during your lunch hour, or getting off the bus one or two stops earlier, every step counts!
  • Skip the elevator/escalator and take the stairs for a few floors
  • Take part in seasonal activities including gardening and lawn mowing in summer, raking in fall and snow shovelling in the winter

As you keep these tips in mind, it’s also important to recharge and refuel your body throughout the day and after exercising to make sure you are not only getting your essential vitamins and nutrients, but also staying energized. Packable snacks like cheese or nuts, or nutritional drinks like BOOST® High Protein™, which gives you a nice boost of muscle-building protein, are great options to keep handy for when you’ve completed any form physical activity – no matter the intensity level.

Whether you’re in the office or at home, challenge yourself to add short bursts of physical activity a few times a day to get your heart rate up, and to improve your health!

This article has been sponsored by BOOST®, but all comments and opinions are my own.

Dr. Ted Jablonski Family Physician Dr. Ted Jablonski is a Calgary based-family physician. He completed his medical education at the University of Manitoba and has practiced and taught medicine in rural Manitoba, Northern Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario. In addition to his duties as a family physician and educator, Dr. Jablonski is also a clinic associate at the Men’s Sexual Health Clinic at the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology and does consultant work in sexual and transgender medicine for Southern Alberta.

 

[1] Health Canada. “Food and Nutrition – Be Active.” Retrieved from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/maintain-adopt/weights-poids-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[2] Bergouignan, A. et al. “Effect of frequent interruptions of prolonged sitting on self-perceived levels of energy, mood, food cravings and cognitive function.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2016. https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-016-0437-z

[3] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Physical Activity.” Retrieved from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pa-ap/index-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)