How can staying physically active protect my health?

Exercising regularly can help you stay healthy so you can be physically fit and emotionally strong to better cope with the stress factors you may experience when you immigrate to your new country.

According to Public Health Ontario, exercising is vital to health,  and many people in Ontario do not exercise enough.

If you have children, remember that a growing child needs different amounts and types of physical activity at different ages. Ensure they get the physical activities they need to stay physically and mentally fit. Group activities, in particular, can be a great way to help them make friends in their new community.

Exercise Strengthens Your Heart and Lungs

Aerobic activities strengthen your heart and lungs, as they make you breathe faster and make your heart pump harder to deliver fresh oxygen into your bloodstream and then to your brain, working muscles and different parts of your body. Here are some examples:

  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Skiing
  • Jogging
  • Jumping rope

Exercise Strengthens Your Muscles

If you don't use your muscles vigorously, they will weaken and cause you pain in situations requiring more physical effort than you are used to. But if you exercise and push them to do more work than they are used to, they will strengthen notably. To support and maintain your muscles, try some of these activities:

  • Lifting heavy objects or weights
  • Doing push-ups
  • Running

Exercise Improves Your Flexibility

Stretching releases the tightness in your muscles. The more you stretch, the fewer injuries you will get when you are active. Here are some exercises that involve stretching:

  • Yoga
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Martial arts

Exercising doesn't need to be complicated. Any effort you make, especially if you are starting out, will help. As little as 30 minutes a day of walking can quickly improve your health and help you feel better.

For More Information

  • Being Active - Benefits of physical activity, recommended guidelines, adding activity to your lifestyle, encouraging children to be active, and playing safely. From the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Healthy Choices - This website provides suggestions to help you stay healthy. From the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Last updated: March 5, 2024 4001578