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Active Lifestyle

What Steps Can I Take to Become More Active?

Start Slowly and Work Up

You do not have to do 30 minutes of activity at one time. You can break the activity up and do a few minutes at a time. Remember that some physical activity is better than none. Stand up during the day, even if you cannot walk around. Your body uses more energy when you stand. You may be able to get a desk at work that allows you to stand while you type or make phone calls.

Aim for a speed or intensity that is challenging but not too difficult. You should be able to speak a few words at a time but not be able to sing.

Plan Activities You Enjoy

Do a variety of activities so you do not become bored. Include activities that strengthen your bones. These activities are called weight-bearing exercises. Examples include tennis, jumping rope, and running. Swimming, riding a bike, and similar exercises keep weight off your bones. They will not help strengthen bones, but they will help your heart and lungs work better.

Ask For Support From the People in Your Life

Go for a walk after dinner with your family. Meet friends at the park. Take a break with a co-worker and walk around. Find someone who likes to go to the gym at the same time you do. You may be more likely to go if you know another person is counting on you. Get involved in community events, such as cleaning a community park. Ask someone to help you stay on track. For example, you can tell the person about your daily or weekly activity.

Set some long-term goals and some short-term goals. For example, you may want to be able to walk for 30 minutes without becoming short of breath. Try not to put time requirements on your goals. For example, do not think you should reach your goal in a month. Set smaller goals, such as walking a little longer each week, or feeling less shortness of breath.

Activity does not have to mean structured exercise each day. You can be more active by making small changes all day. For example, try parking as far from the entrance of buildings as you can when you run errands. If possible, walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

You can do this by writing down your daily activity. Include the kind of activity and how long you did it. You can also use a program on your phone or other device that will track activity for you.

Also record your progress. You may be doing daily activities more easily, sleeping better, or building muscles.

Step counting can help you monitor activity. A general guide is to take 10,000 steps each day. A pedometer is a device you can wear to track your steps. Some phones have programs that will count and record steps. You may need to work up to 10,000 steps. Start by finding out how many steps you usually take in a day. Then try to take more steps each day than you took the day before.

The rewards can be for activity done for a certain amount of time each day or days each week. Rewards can also be for progress you make.  Have rewards that are not food, such as a new clothing item or book.

Elliot Lake is home to a variety of fun and exciting activities, recreational resources, and beautiful parks and walking trails. Click on the various links below for more information.


Additional Resources

Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime to make sure that it is appropriate for your current physical condition.