Active for Life

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit encourages everyone including kids, adults and older adults to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. This leads to longer, more enjoyable lives – not to mention the fun you get from the activities themselves.

Below is information for all three stages of life to help you stay active and healthy.

 

Active Kids

Physical activity is very important for children. Their growing and developing bodies thrive on physical activity. Yet in today’s modern world, video games and TV sometimes get in the way of sports and playing outside. We need to help and encourage our children to stay physically active for:

  • Healthy bodies – Being active helps kids build a healthy heart, bones and muscles. It also helps to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Positive self-esteem and good mental health – Physical activity helps children feel good about themselves. It provides opportunity to help them master a skill. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Better grades – Being active helps to improve memory and concentration, encourage creativity and build problem-solving skills.
  • Better social skills – Playing games and participating in team activities helps children make new friends, learn team-building skills and learn self-discipline.

The habits we help them build today will last a lifetime.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children and youth get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Moderate activities  include brisk walking and playing in the yard, and vigorous activities include running, swimming and playing sports. This age group should engage in vigorous activities at least 3 days a week.

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for children 5 to 11 (PDF)

Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children 5 to 11 (PDF)

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for children 12 to 17 (PDF)

Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children 12 to 17 (PDF)

 

Find Out More

P.R.O. Kids Thunder Bay makes recreation in Thunder Bay more accessible to children and youth who are unable to afford program fees.

The Big Boreal Adventure is an interactive way for families to explore Thunder Bay, have fun and learn about natural areas in the city.

The Public Health Agency of Canada physical activity tips for children and youths.

 

Active Adults

Adults may feel like they lead active lives already. With work, the kids, maintaining a home, and running around doing chores, it certainly seems busy! Spending the time doing physical activity can help you manage your busy day and provide long-term health benefits, such as:

  • Give you more energy.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
  • Improve your overall physical and mental health.
  • Allow you a better sleep.
  • Reduce your stress levels.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (PDF) recommends that adults aged 18-64 should get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week.

  • Moderate activities are those that make you sweat a little and breathe harder, such as brisk walking or bike riding.
  • Vigorous activities make you sweat more and be out of breath, such as jogging or cross-country skiing.

These minutes can be added up in blocks of 10 minutes or more, so you can still get all the health benefits simply by squeezing in bursts of activity throughout your week.

Find Out More

Physical Activity Guidelines - Public Health Agency of Canada (PDF)

Physical activity @ work

 

Active Older Adults

We don’t want to admit to getting older. Being young at heart is certainly a great way to live life! But the reality is that as we age, our body can’t always do what it used to. There are ways though that we can help our body stay stronger and healthier for longer. With regular exercise, you’ll have:

  • Increased energy and endurance.
  • Increased muscle strength and balance.
  • Increased efficiency in task performance.
  • Better digestion and sleep patterns.
  • Reduced risk of falls and injuries.
  • Increased self-confidence and greater independence.
  • Better management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
  • Better opportunities for socializing.
  • Better ability to relax resulting in reduced anxiety, tension and depression.
  • Enhanced mental and spiritual well-being.

 

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (PDF) recommends that adults aged 65 and older should get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every week.

  • Moderate activities are those that make you sweat a little and breathe harder, such as brisk walking or bike riding.
  • Vigorous activities make you sweat more and be out of breath, such as jogging or cross-country skiing.

These minutes can be added up in blocks of 10 minutes or more.

Older adults should also aim for 2 days of muscle and bone strengthening exercises each week. Some examples include:

  • Load baring exercises like pole walking.
  • Weight training.
  • Resistance training.

These Balance and Stability exercises can also be included in your weekly 150 min:

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Stretching

Find Out More

Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults (Public Health Agency of Canada)

 

For Further Information

Call the Physical Activity Program: (807) 625-5900

or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Last Updated: 13/10/2017