Moving More

Motivating your momentum for marvelousness.

Whether it’s going for a bike ride, taking the dog for a walk, or launching an impromptu dance party, more and more research is showing just how important it is to add physical activity into our days. As it turns out, sitting too much can be almost as bad for you as smoking.

Experts recommend two and a half hours or more of activity every week, or about 20 minutes per day. Moving more and sitting less reduces your risk for cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and obesity. It can help with recovering from injury and illness, reduce stress, improve your mental health, boost your self-confidence, and enhance relationships. 

The key is finding ways to get your body moving. From doing a few squats while you’re on a break at work, to taking a walk with your friends at the park, to doing vigorous outdoor or housework, any movement or activity that increases your breathing and heart rate counts.

It’s also important to limit sitting (sedentary) time to eight hours per day or less with frequent breaks. CancerCare Manitoba has information about moving more, including how cancer can be prevented through more physical activity.

If you think you could be more active, you’re not alone. 57% of Manitobans believe they aren’t doing enough or could be doing more when it comes to being active (Doctors Manitoba 2023 survey).

Getting started

  • Start small. Add some extra steps by taking the stairs, parking a little further away, or getting off the bus one stop early. Working up to 10-minute periods of being active is a good way to start.

  • Remember that being active includes exercise, such as working out or playing sports, as well as other types of activities like walking the dog, cleaning, and yard work. 

  • Try taking​“microbreaks” from sitting. Stand or walk around while talking on the phone.

  • Include muscle and bone strengthening exercises in your routine.

  • Get outside! Being in nature is also connected with mental and physical well-being.

  • Focus on progress, not perfection. Pick an activity you love, and celebrate the days you​get moving.

When to call a doctor

Sometimes it is important to see a doctor before making changes in your activity level and exercise routines. Some of the reasons include:

  • You have any symptoms (chest pain, joint pain, shortness of breath) that limit your ability to gradually increase your activity level

  • You aren’t comfortable being more active because you worry about falling or are falling at your current activity level

  • You take over-the-counter pain medications or muscle-relaxants because of muscle and joint pain. 

Key takeaways

  • Incorporate two and a half hours or more of activity every week, or about 20 minutes per day. Moving more and sitting less reduces your risk for disease. Starting small is ok, too, even 10 minutes at a time.

  • Limit sitting time to 8 hours per day or less with frequent breaks. Remember, many types of activity count for moving more, not just workouts.

  • Limit sitting (sedentary) time to help prevent illness and help reduce stress and improve your mental health.