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The many benefits of physical activity on your physical and psychological health no longer need to be proven. Exercise helps control the effects of aging including the loss of cognitive function, improves your functional capacities, quality of life and even your life expectancy. So that you can live longer and live better!
Physical activity leads to positive changes in your cardio-respiratory endurance. You will be able to notice these benefits after only a few weeks of regular exercise, such as:
Gone are the days when you had to sweat hard to get into shape! Physical activity must be demystified.
The World Health Organization defines physical activity as any movement produced by skeletal muscles, responsible for an increase in energy expenditure. Thus, every movement is considered exercise and every step counts!
The good news is that there does not appear to be a threshold below which physical activity would not have a positive effect on health; every increase, however small, is beneficial. These benefits are even more important for your health if you are sedentary. So, it’s never too late to introduce a little exercise and we are all capable. You just have to find the right exercise for you. It must be easy, simple and fun!
Several of the daily life tasks or leisure activities ask you to move (cleaning, shopping, or babysitting your grandchildren). Try to do a little each day and you will see, your energy will increase. This notion of energy expenditure in your lifestyle is what is called thermogenesis related to non-sporting activities or NEAT, meaning “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis”.
It is enough to simply introduce more movements into your daily life, such as standing longer and more often, taking short steps, or parking your car a little bit further away. For example, you could do 3 chair lifts before each meal, walk to your corner grocery store, try to climb up and down a level of stairs a day, or simply walk in place (while sitting or standing) during commercial breaks of your favorite show. Be imaginative!
When you think about it, what behaviour is most harmful and risky to your health: moving or staying sedentary?
Stop being afraid of movement! The risks of exercising are low and, above all, less harmful than not doing so. Regular physical activity is part of the treatment plan for congestive heart failure and helps slow the progression of the disease. Physical activity is therefore recommended for YOU and for all people with congestive heart failure.
Moving while staying safe means: starting your exercise slowly with a low-intensity warm-up, being able to speak at all times during exercise (speech test), and taking breaks and rest if necessary.
If you are sedentary, set for yourself a realistic goal. Don’t hesitate to break up your exercise into smaller sections during the day. Your 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can be done in 2 x 15-minute sessions. If you’re just starting out, it’s even best to begin with 10-minute segments but you could also do 15 x 2 minutes. The important thing is to move and a little is already a lot!
You have to do a little bit every day. It is the effect of regularly activating our body that brings the benefits of exercise. Don’t get discouraged! The results arrive slowly. There will always be excuses or solutions, it’s up to you to choose. It’s your decision and you have the power to say today is DAY 1 of starting to be healthier and active. One step and minute at a time will make all the difference!