Q. If I exercise, will I prevent heart disease?
A: Physical inactivity, along with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, is one of the major modifiable risk factors for heart attack. This is no guarantee that you will not get heart disease; however, your chances of heart disease developing are less if you increase your physical activity levels
Q. I have been inactive for years. Shouldn't I see a doctor before I start becoming physically active?
A: People who are middle-aged or older who are inactive and at high risk for heart disease or who already have a medical condition should seek medical advice before they start or significantly increase their physical activity. Most apparently healthy people of any age can safely engage in moderate levels of physical activity without prior medical consultation.
Q. How much physical activity is enough?
A: If you are inactive, doing anything is better then nothing! Studies
show that people who have a low fitness level are much more likely
to die early then people who have achieved a moderate level of fitness.
The following chart indicates how often, how long and how hard you
need to be active for health beneftis:
Time needed depends on effort. Use the Physical Activity Chart as your guide.
|Very light Effort
||Light Effort 60 minutes
|- light walking
- easy gardening
|- brisk walking
- raking leaves
- water aerobics
- fast swimming
- fast dancing
||Range needed to
Q. Is exercise safe?
A: The potential health benefits of exercise greatly outweigh the risk. Consult your doctor first if you have any concerns, have been sedentary, are overweight, are middle-aged or older or have a medical condition.
Q. I am a senior citizen. Is it too late for me to become physically active?
A: More and more older adults are proving every day that they aren't too old to exercise. In fact, the older you are, the more you need regular exercise. Studies have shown that no matter what your age, physical activity can contribute to improved health.
Q. Our worksite perceives that workplace wellness initiatives cost a lot of money and take a lot of time (i.e. building a weight room, paying for employee fitness memberships).
A: The in motion Workplace Wellness initiative is designed to be fun and easy to implement. Depending on the resources that worksite has, it can be as simple as distributing information to employees that educate them on active healthy lifestyles. Call your "friendly" neighborhood Workplace Wellness Consultant at (306)655-DO IT!
Q. Our worksites have a number of initiatives all ready in place and therefore we do not feel we need to get involved with in motion.
A: The in motion Workplace Wellness initiative will enhance what they are currently doing. Your initiatives and in motion share common goals and fit very well together, the business will also be part of something much larger, a community strategy!
Q. Our wellness committee has become discouraged because a number of employees are not participating or do not share the same passion that we have.
A: It is not your role or responsibility to ensure that every employee is active. People go through various stages of change from not interested in being active to those that are active. We encourage you to concentrate on the employees that are ready to get involved. In time others will participate.
Q. We think that this initiative costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time (i.e. planning).
A: The in motion Older Adult initiative is designed to be fun and easy to implement. Depending on what is currently happening at your facility or organization, being involved with in motion can be as simple as distributing information to the residents to educate them on active healthy lifestyles.
Q. Our Congregate housing facility has a physical activity program in place and therefore we do not feel we need to get involved with in motion.
A: The in motion Older Adult initiative will enhance what they are currently doing. Their initiative and in motion share common goals and fit very well together, the facility will also be part of something much larger, a community strategy!
Q. Our facility does not have an instructor to lead the class.
A: This is a common concern. It is important to not only have instructors to lead the programs, but it is crucial that they be qualified. There are a number of agencies that train physical activity leaders and will have a list of qualified instructors. Give them a call!
Q. Do the programs require equipment?
A: Not necessarily. A class can be run with very little or no equipment. If a facility is looking at purchasing equipment, investigate the numerous grants available.
Q. Residents do not have the ability to pay in order to participate in a program.
A: There are a number of creative ways to cover your costs, if required; the in motion Older Adult Resource Guide has a few suggestions that may assist you.
Q. There is a concern about the health status of the residents.
A: Everyone participating in a physical activity program should receive prior consent from his or her physician. There are tools available that participants can take to their physician to sign.
Q. Should someone who has diabetes, be physically active on a regular basis?
A: The best thing someone with diabetes can do for themself is to start a physical activity program. Regular exercise reduces the complications due to diabetes and often causes a reduction in the daily insulin dose.
Q. Is staying active just as important as taking exercise classes?
A: If you walk everywhere you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator, participate in fun sporting activities with friends, take the dog out regularly, go out on the weekends jigging, trapping, or snowshoeing, you are contributing enormously to your well being.
Q. Physical activity is very expensive. How can I afford to stay active?
A: Although some clubs may cost a lot of money to join, there are always recreational and fun possibilities at local community centres, through the municipal parks and recreation department or with local sports associations that are offered free or at a reasonable cost. Remember that if you don’t stay active, it can cost you your life.
Q. Can regular physical activity positively influence your genetic make-up?
A: Your genes will affect you regardless of your lifestyle (diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis). However, exercise and healthy living will improve your quality of life and will influence the time of onset of these health conditions. Therefore, if you have a family history of a specific condition, you should definitely embark on a physical activity program.
Q. Is physical activity an effective way of losing weight?
A: Aerobic exercise uses fat as a fuel and when combined with diet modification, will enhance weight loss. The optimal amount of exercise is 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate intensity.
Q. Can physical activity, like walking, help prevent Type II Diabetes for those who are at high risk?
A: Simply, Yes! The results of a major federally funded study, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), showed that moderate diet and exercise resulting in a 5- to 7-percent weight loss, of people at high risk for diabetes, can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes. The participants walked for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
(National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 2002)
Q. Is it really important for parents to be active for their children to be active?
A: Research on children and physical activity shows the crucial role that parents play. More active parents have more active preschoolers, more active preadolescents, and more active adolescents. For more information on how you can encourage your children to be active, you can go to a series provided by Canada Physical Activity Guides for children and youth.
Q. What can I do to get my child more physically active?
A: First, set a good example yourself. Children really do model their parents behavior.
Limit television, movies, videos and computer games to less then two hours a day. Substitute the rest of leisure time with physical acivity.
Plan family outings that involve vigorous activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, etc.
Choose fitness oriented gifts - a jump rope, mini trampoline, tennis racket, frisbee, etc.
Give your children household chores that require physical exertion (as long as it is appropriate for the age of your child), like: mowing the lawn, raking leaves, scrubbing floors and taking out garbage.
Q. Should I enroll my children into sports?
A: Many children will benefit and thrive from the team aspect provided by sport. Monitor your children to see where their interest lies. Some children will be more independent in nature while others seek out others and enjoy competition. Check out your local community for opportunities for your children. Try and provide a wide exposure to different activities for your children to pick from.
Q. Is it ever too early for a child to be physically active?
A: We are born to be active! The body goes through stages of development and in each of these stages, physical movement is essential. From the "arm swinging and leg kicking" of infants; to toddlers transitioning from crawling to walking; to preschoolers exploring running, jumping, climbing and throwing.
Adults can assist children in this progression by "playing games" with children. Many adults know more games then children do! Playing games is a natural, healthy and enjoyable way for children to be active.
Check out the CDC (center for diseas control web site for some great ideas on getting "in motion")
Q. Aren't kids already active enough?
A: Unfortunately not! Research confirmed in 1998 that Canadian Children ages 11 to 15 were 30% less active then children in 1990.(King et al, 1999).
63% of 5-17 year olds are not active enough for optimal growth and development(Physical activity monitor,CFLRI, 1999)
Incidences of obesity in children and youth have increased by 50% in the last 15 years(Heart Health Coalition, 1998)