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Getting Older and Staying Physically Active

older man and woman riding bicycles


Being active and maintaining your fitness is an excellent way to stay well as you age. Older adults are more likely to be inactive so take steps to protect your health.

Physical activity is vital to preventing falls. It can also give you more energy, boost self-confidence, protect your brain, and help you stay independent. Here are some tips to help you get up and active.

  • Aim to be active often
    The amount of physical activity recommended for adults by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines is at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigourous intensity aerobic activity a week. Things like brisk walking, light jogging or bicycling and sports like tennis and badminton are great ways to meet the 150 minutes each week.

Did You Know?
The Province funded 18 Seniors' Community Parks in BC with free outdoor exercise equipment. Many other BC communities have built outdoor parks to help older adults stay healthy.

  • Talk to a fitness professional for free
    Talk to a professional by calling the free Physical Activity Services at HealthLink BC. They can answer questions and help you create a custom physical activity plan. Call Physical Activity Services at HealthLink BC for free at 8-1-1.
  • Try a new activity
    Find a workout “buddy” or join an activity class at your local rec center. This helps your motivation and commitment.
  • Set Goals
    Keep a list of your daily activities, set goals, and track your progress. This helps identify activities that you enjoy – and will help to make a fitness plan. Tracking your activities will also reduce putting it off and help keep you focused and celebrate successes.
  • Maintain your muscles
    Weight bearing activities in your daily routine will build muscle mass and help prevent falls.  Lifting weights, walking, dancing, climbing stairs, gardening, yoga, Tai Chi, and golf are activities that can help maintain your muscle mass.
  • Walk more
    Regular walking is an excellent way to be active. Make the effort to add more walking to your daily routine.
  • Stand more and sit less
    Sitting for long periods can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you are doing something that requires sitting, get up every 20 minutes to walk and stretch.
  • Boost your brain health
    Regular physical activity can:
    • Lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Increase blood flow to your brain, bringing oxygen and nutrients, keeping your brain healthy.
    • Improve your mental well-being through socializing and taking part in community events or programs.

Get Moving!
Find enjoyable routines for your fitness level on Move for Life

Last Updated: October 1, 2015