It’s time to get moving Canada!

5 tips for safe and healthy exercise

Three quarters of Canadians aren’t getting enough exercise, and that’s something to sweat about – especially with our aging population. [Source :] Exercising regularly has been shown to have numerous physical and mental health benefits. [Source :] And not exercising enough, or doing nothing at all, can be a big problem – as inactivity can potentially lead to lots of negative health issues down the road. [Source :]

That’s why it’s time to get moving, Canada! Here, we’ll provide you with a few helpful tips that will get you started and into a good routine. Once you get going, you’ll see how a little exercise can have big health benefits.

1. First, talk to your physician

Before starting any physical exercise routine, it’s important to consult your doctor or a medical professional if you have any pre-existing medical conditions (especially heart-related conditions). Your medical professional can provide suggestions about the types of exercise that you should be doing as well as ways to manage your condition when exercising.

Make sure you check in with your body when exercising, if you notice that something doesn’t feel right with regards to your condition, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

2. Don’t overdo it at the start. A little can do a lot.

When starting any new exercise routine, the best approach is to ease yourself into it. You don’t want to jump right into the deep end – even if you decide you want to try swimming. Doing a little bit consistently can have big health results.

  • Don’t push yourself to the limit when you first start working out – that approach can lead to a higher risk of injury. For example, if you decide to start running, start with just a few kilometres of a combination walk and run. Slowly work yourself up to longer and longer distances.
  • If you’re interested in doing some weight training, don’t try to be the world’s strongest person (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson). Instead, focus on your technique and lift what provides just enough resistance to feel slightly uncomfortable. Do you really need to be lifting tree trunks above your head?
  • Make sure you have a rest day or two during your week. Rest days are really important as they allow the body to heal and repair itself.

3. Get a good routine going

One of the most challenging parts of starting to exercise is getting a good routine in place. First off, decide whether you like to exercise in the morning, at lunch hour, in the afternoon, or in the evening. It’s also a smart idea to find a gym (or community centre) that’s close to your work or home. This will save you time with your commute, and you won’t feel like heading to the gym is a mission.

Also, don’t feel discouraged if you miss a workout. Life happens, and there will be weeks when you can’t fit in all your workouts. There will be days when you feel too tired or sore to get a workout in. On those days, it might be a good idea to do a less intense version of your regular routine or some light stretching at home. Remember, even 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day can have big health benefits. [Source :]

4. Choose exercises you enjoy

Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun. Decide what type of activities you like to do.

  • If you like swimming, jump in the pool.
  • If you want to start running, lace up your sneakers and go for a run in your neighbourhood or on the treadmill with your favourite playlist.
  • If you prefer working out with other people, sign up for some fitness classes or play rec sports.

That being said, it is a really good idea to mix things up. You don’t want to let yourself get complacent by doing the exact same routine day in and day out. For one thing, it could become stale. And it’s also important to work different parts of your body. So, make sure your exercise routine includes a few different types of activities.

5. Have different activities for the different seasons

You should try to get outdoors and exercise when you can. Don’t just live at the gym. On a beautiful day, it’s nice to burn some calories outside. Make sure you have different activities you like doing during the four seasons we have on offer in Canada. Go skating or skiing in the winter. Start running outdoors in the spring, and make sure you stop, hydrate, and smell the roses. In the summer, do some open-water swims in the lake, or grab your lifejacket and go for a paddle in a canoe or kayak. And when the fall comes around, play some intramural sports with your best friends. Again, these are only some suggestions. There are plenty of great ways to get into shape.

A final fitness thought

We hope you found these exercise suggestions helpful and that they provide you with a little spark of motivation to get going and into a regular exercise routine. If you’re still feeling tentative and need some extra help when starting out, it’s never a bad idea to work with a personal trainer or with a friend who knows their way around a gym (or a certain activity).

Remember, exercising regularly is a lifestyle change, which means it will take a few weeks or a couple of months for you to make it a part of your daily routine. However, when you do, you’ll definitely notice the physical, mental, and wellness benefits. You might even feel like a new you.


Sources: - “How Healthy are Canadians,” 2016 - “The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise,” February 2017 - “Risks of Physical Inactivity,” 2019 - “A Daily Walk Can Add Seven Years To Your Life,” September 2015