Physical Activity


Watch as Dr. Mike Evans, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital, answers the old question "What is the single best thing we can do for our health" in a completely new way.

Physical activity is an important way to prevent disease and stay healthy.

Physical activity reduces the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Some types of cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

Gilmour, H. 2007. Physically active Canadians. Statistics Canada Health Reports, 18(3), Catalogue 82-003.

What does Physical Activity mean?

Physical activity is any muscle movement that uses energy. There are 2 main ways to be physically active -active living and exercise: 

  • Active Living is a way of life where being active is natural, and happens every day.
  • Exercise is planned and routine, such as attending an aerobic class.

There are 3 types of activities:

  • Endurance -continuous activities for your heart, lungs and circulatory system, such as walking and recreational sports.
  • Strength - activities against resistance to strengthen muscles and bones, improve posture and help prevent diseases, such as weight lifting.
  • Flexibility - gentle reaching, bending and stretching activities to keep your muscles relaxed and your joints mobile, such as yoga.

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines

More Physical Activity Resources