From the Heart and Stroke Foundation

If you've come to this page, you've probably decided that it's time to make physical activity a regular part of your life – or you want to get more ideas to boost your regular physical activity program. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that adults get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity, most days of the week. Children should be active 60 to 90 minutes a day, most days of the week. Try to fit physical activity throughout your day – walking to work, taking a physical activity break at lunch time, going for an after-dinner stroll. That way it's easy and fun – not a time crunch.

Physical activity is important for heart health. It can help lower your blood pressure, control cholesterol levels and exercise your heart. Check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

Tip #1
If you're just starting out, go slow and work up gradually. Make sure you have an action plan for each season, so that the weather doesn't get in the way. Work physical activity into your daily life in little ways by taking a walk around the block, playing with your kids, or dancing to your favourite music.

Tip #2
List the activities you like (swimming, bowling, biking) and the rewards you hope to gain (better heart health, reduced stress). Then plan how to make them part of your daily routine. At work, carve out 10 minutes to walk during lunch. If you have children, ask your family, friends or neighbours to pitch in to watch the kids while you take that dance class you've always wanted to take.

Tip #3
Involve your family and friends in your physical activity program. You'll gain support and companionship. You don't need to go it alone!

Tip #4
Keep at it, and within three months or less, you'll notice a big difference in your level of fitness. You'll feel better, have more energy, sleep more soundly and reduce your stress.

Here are some physical activities you may want to make a regular habit:


  • Biking
  • Gardening
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Inline skating
  • Playing baseball, basketball, Frisbee, kickball, soccer, tag, volleyball
  • Skipping rope
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Walking
  • Water aerobics (aqua fitness)


  • Bowling
  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Ice skating
  • Lifting weights
  • Mall walking
  • Playing hockey
  • Skiing
  • Sledding
  • Snow shoeing
  • Snowboarding
  • Stretching
  • Tobogganing
  • Yoga


  • Bicycle or walk to work
  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator
  • Get off the bus or subway a stop earlier and walk to work and home
  • Make appointments for walking meetings with your co-workers
  • Take the kids to school on foot
  • Park the car further away from your destination
  • Walk to the corner store, bank and post office
  • Wash and wax the car by hand

Heart and Stroke Foundation


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This article has been independently researched, written and reviewed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is based on scientific evidence. The information is for reference and education only. This web article is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’‘s advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult your physician for specific information on personal health matters. The Heart and Stroke Foundation assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any error in, or omission of, information or from the use of any information or advice contained within this article.

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© - 2008. Reproduced with permission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada