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General Health for Persons with Chronic Conditions

Regular physical activity is important for overall health and can help to prevent and treat many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Moving more and sitting a little less everyday can have tremendous benefits for people of every age and ability level. Only 16% of Canadian adults are active enough to meet the recommended levels of physical activity and get the health benefits.

Regular physical activity can:

  • Improve heart health
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve sleep
  • Lower stress
  • Maintain brain health
  • Help control weight
  • Help you live longer

Canadian guidelines recommend that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Activities to strengthen your muscles, and improve your flexibility and balance are also recommended.

It is important to know that even small increases in your physical activity level can provide health benefits. Try to choose activities you enjoy and will continue to do.

Useful Resources

Walk BC (Canada)
This website provides a variety of resources on benefits of walking and existing walking programs as well as an interactive map of walks throughout BC. The Walking Handbook (found under ‘downloads’) includes a progressive walking program and worksheets on staying motivated and addressing barriers to being active.

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults (ParticipACTION, Canada)
This website provides guidelines on recommended levels of physical activity and sedentary time for adults (ages 18-64 years).

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Older Adults (ParticipACTION, Canada)
This website provides guidelines on recommended levels of physical activity and sedentary time for older adults (ages 65 years and older).

EverybodyMoves Hub (Physical Activity for Health Collaborative and BC Alliance for Healthy Living Society, Canada)
This database provides links to practical resources and examples on how to make physical activity more inclusive for more of the community. Resources are searchable through key words, subjects and type. Note: The individual resources were not evaluated by our team.

Move for LIFE (Government of British Columbia, Canada)
This a DVD shows older adults ways to add more physical activity in to their daily routine. A free copy of the DVD can be ordered from HealthLinkBC, by calling 8-1-1, and parts of the DVD are available on this website.

Let’s Make our Day Harder (Reframe Health Lab & Dr. Mike Evans, Canada)
This YouTube video explains how to avoid inactivity in everyday life.

23 and ½ hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? (Reframe Health Lab & Dr. Mike Evans, Canada)
This YouTube video describes the benefits of being active and how to fit physical activity into your day.

The Importance of Intensity in Physical Activity (Reframe Health Lab & Dr. Mike Evans, Canada)
This YouTube video describes the importance of doing moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.

EXi (iPrescribe Exercise Digital, United Kingdom)
An app that looks at your current health and fitness level. It produces a personalized physical activity plan that gradually and safely helps you to increase your activity levels over 12 weeks. The app is available for IOS and Android devices.

Exercise and Physical Activity (National Institute on Aging, USA)
This website includes information and printable tools to help you set physical activity goals, create a plan and track your progress in 4 areas of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Exercise is Medicine (American College of Sports Medicine, USA)
This website consists of tools and resources for the general public, and healthcare and exercise professionals, to encourage regular assessment of your physical activity level and guide you on how to become more physically active. The website also provides community-based resources for further support.

Physical Activity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA)
This website provides general information about benefits and types of physical activity with age-related recommendations and printable infographics.

Last updated: November 2021