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 that you may experience when you immigrate to your new country.

According to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, exercising is vital to health and many people living in Ontario do not spend enough time exercising.

If you have children, remember that a growing child needs different amounts and types of physical activity at different ages. Make sure 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 blood stream and then to your brain, working muscles and to 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 under 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 doing, they will strengthen notably. To strengthen your muscles, try some of these activities:

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

Exercise Improves Your Flexibility

Stretching releases the tightness in your muscles. The more you stretch, the less 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 hard. Any effort you make, especially if you are just starting out, will help. As little as 30 minutes a day of walking quickly can improve your health and will help you feel better.

For More Information

  • Physical Activity - This webpage provides a wide range of information on becoming physically active. You can also find tips for different age groups on how to start exercising regularly. From the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Healthy Choices - This website provides a number suggestions to help you stay healthy. From the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Last updated: January 10, 2017 4001578