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Being Active with Nature

A paddle on Birch Lake

 

Why it's Important

Being active, or moving your body, has benefits far beyond what most people imagine.

  • Our brains feel better, more creative, less stressed, less anxious, less depressed and better able to cope with life
  • Our immune system is better able to both resist and cope with infections
  • Our bones are stronger and less prone to factures and osteoporosis
  • Our muscles are stronger, more flexible and agile which makes us feel better and less prone to injuries including falls
  • Our heart and lungs are stronger with better blood flow and are able to provide more oxygen to the brain and rest of the body.  The risk of a heart attack, angina, hypertension and stroke is reduced
  • The risk of dementia, diabetes, breast and colon cancer is less

 

How Much and What Kind

The Canadian Guidelines suggest that adults be active for 150 minutes each week.  This could be 30 minutes 5 times a week, or 50 minutes three times a week or any other combination that suits your lifestyle.  School-aged children and youth should be active 60 minutes every day.  For more information.

The important thing is to find some activity you enjoy doing and do it often!  Consider walking, biking, golfing, swimming, paddling, weights - anything that gets your heart rate up, makes you breathe harder and sweat a bit.  A combination of activities that build strength, flexibility, edurance and coordination are ideal.

 

Power of Nature

If your activity takes place in nature you will be getting a bonus.  We evolved living with nature all around us, and this is where our brain feels most relaxed and happy. People who have regular contact with nature are less anxious, depressed and angry, cope better with stress, and are more creative.  Children are able to better focus and learn.  For more information.

So check out the Arch website and find out how getting into the Arch can make you a happier, healthier person - and bring your family too!  

This article was written by Dr. Paula Stewart; Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Health Unit.

Fuel for an Active Body Article         Healthy Eating for Cyclists Article

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