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These days, physical activity is a common subject that engages a lot of conversations. In order to help you understand the importance of physical activity, I thought I would explain the benefits it brings and give you some advice.

FIRST, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE? 

Physical activity is any movement that involves skeletal muscles and that causes energy release, while exercise is a type of planned and structured physical activity performed with the purpose to improve or maintain one or many physical components.

 

Physical activity brings many benefits to everyone! For example, physical activity can:

– Reduce stress levels

– Strengthen the heart

– Increase the energy level

– Help maintain a healthy weight (accompanied by a healthy diet)

– Help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.

– Reduce the risk of stroke (stroke)

– Reduce the risk of osteoporosis (degeneration of the bones)

– Improve well-being

– Improve physical condition

– Improve mental health

– Reduce inflammation

– Improve cognitive functions

 

And much more!

 

Did you know that physical activity is now recommended in the new Canadian Food Guide?

 

More specifically, being active can:

 

 

 

 

In children:  optimize growth and development.

In adults: help with the accomplishment of daily tasks.

In the elderly:  slow down bone degeneration and encourage the maintenance of muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, and this, while reducing the risk of falls.

 

 

 

 

 

To guide you in your physical activity practice, the Canadian Movement Guidelines recommend:

For infants (less than a year old): 30 minutes of play on the stomach per day.

For toddlers (1-2 years): at least 180 minutes of varied intensity play spread over the day.

For preschoolers (3-4 years): at least 180 minutes throughout the day, including 60 minutes of energetic play.

For children and teenagers (5-17 years old): 60 minutes a day of varied medium to high intensity aerobic exercises and integrate activities of high intensity to strengthen muscles and bones, and this, at least three days per week.

For adults (18-64 years old): at least 150 minutes of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercises per week, divided into sessions of at least 10 minutes and integrate weight training activities at least two days per week.

For the elderly (65 years +): at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercises per week divided into 10-minute sessions and integrate activities to strengthen muscles and bones at least two days per week, in addition to physical activities that can improve the balance and prevent falls.

In short, in order to enjoy the benefits of physical activity, it is important to be well informed and to make the process fun!

 

Sources : 

  1. American College of Sports Medicine. (2017). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 10e édition. Wolters Kluwer.
  2. Canada, A. de la santé publique du. (2018, octobre 1). Votre santé et l’activité physique [Lignes directrices]. aem. https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-publique/services/etre-actif/votre-sante-activite-physique.html#a1
  3. Canada, S. (2004, août 3). Activité physique [Éducation et sensibilisation]. aem. https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/services/vie-saine/activite-physique.html
  4. Canada, S. (2018, octobre 11). Activité physique. https://guide-alimentaire.canada.ca/fr/conseils-pour-alimentation-saine/activite-physique/, https://food-guide.canada.ca/conseils-pour-alimentation-saine/activite-physique
  5. SCPE | CSEP. (s. d.). SCPE | CSEP. Consulté à l’adresse https://csepguidelines.ca/fr

 

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