Finding your Active Levels!

​Sep 12, 2019

A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Unjali Malhotra, FNHA Medical Officer, Women's Health.


There are great benefits to being active that include boosting your energy and mood, and providing you a better night's sleep. Being active will be different for every person, especially at different age groups.

It's a great reminder that sometimes your daily or routine activities can provide the appropriate amount of physical activities your body needs.

From Dr. McDonald and her family

I love spending quality time walking my dogs Mukwa and Loki. My dogs get me moving every day, and sometimes at a more patient pace, as Mukwa requires a doggy-stroller to help with his challenges. The walks with my dogs and family strengthen our bonds as a family. 


Dr. Shannon McDonald's puppy, Mukwa, sitting in the stroller. 

I also get a moderate amount of physical activity spending time in my garden. I am able to get in touch with the land and clear my mind while digging and weeding through my garden.

From Dr. Malhotra and her family

My five-year-old daughter keeps me busy and active. It is important for both me and my daughter to keep active to build a healthy pattern that will hopefully continue as she gets older. 

When I take my daughter to the park, I can keep myself active. Instead of being sedentary, I can get up and play with her. Keeping up with her, climbing the playground toys and moving around will get my heart rate going. 

My daughter needs about 60 minutes of physical activities throughout the day. It's great to include a variety of activities to develop her movement skills. When my daughter gets enough play time, she has a good nap! 

Identifying the different levels of physical activities

It's important for people to know that each age group requires a different level of physical activity, and different levels activity. Here is a quick breakdown:

Babies, 4 and under need about 180 minutes of physical activity throughout the day.

Children and youth 5-17 years should accumulate 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity of physical activity each day.

Adults 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity of physical activity, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, per week.

Older adults and elders need about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

The three levels of physical activity

Sedentary: Postures or activities that require very little movement, such as prolonged sitting. E.g. playing video games or driving to work.

Moderate-Intensity: Physical activity at a medium range with increased heart-rate and breathing. A rule of thumb, if you're doing a moderate-intensity, you can talk but not sing your favourite song while doing the activity.

Vigorous-Intensity: Physical activity at a high range with increased heart rate and heavy breathing. You would not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

For more information on Physical Activity Guidelines, visit the link here.

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