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Learn about physical Activity

In its health promotion work, WRALN uses the following definitions:

Physical activity is as an umbrella term that describes a number of specific activities (i.e. sports, leisure time activities, work and activities of daily living) that requier energy expenditures above what is normal when the body is at rest

Active Living refers to a way of life where physcial activity is valued and is integrated into daily life.  It includes walks in the park, family bike rides, dance class, walking to school/work, cycling for transportation, household chores (gardening, vacuuming, shoveling snow, house cleaning), sitting yoga, and pick-up games of hockey are all examples of physical activities that get people moving and having fun.

Exercise is a form of physical activity that is planned and repetitive.  Some examples are playing an organized sports, running on a treadmill or outside, aerobic classes. 

Sedentary behaviour refers to any activity that requires very little movement and is often done sitting or lying down. It includes playing video games, watching television, using a computer, and sitting in a motor vehicle.  

man paddling in a canoe in the lakeWhy is physical activity important Engaging in active living is one of the most important things that people of all ages can do to improve their health.  It will improve your:

  • energy level
  • ability to do daily activities
  • concentration, memory, and alertness
  • work-life balance
  • fitness level
  • self-confidence
  • personal mental health and mood
  • chances of living longer

Regular excercise and reducing time spent sitting will also reduce:

  • stress levels
  • risk for injury at work
  • time off from work or school due to illness
  • risk for type 2 diabetes
  • risk of falls (particularly older adults)
  • risk of high blood pressure and some types of cancer

For more information visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care or the Public Health Agency of Canada

Benefits .- Evidence reports the following benefits of engaging in physical activity:

promotes wellbeing, physical and mental health                

  • prevents disease
  • improve social connectedness and quality of live
  • provides economic benefits, and
  • contributes to environmental sustainability


Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines .  The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) suggests minimums for

 a) children and youth (5-17 years) - 60 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity daily physical activity

b) adults (18-64 years)= 150 minutes of moderate-to vigorous- intensity weekly

c) older adults (>65 years)= 150 minutes od moderate- to vigorous-intensity weekly 

For more information and resources visit the Resource Section of this website