Healthy Living in the North

Make time to move: For stress control, every move helps

[Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 2012 issue of A Healthier You]

Make time to move!

Make time to move!

Did you know that if you include physical activity in your personal schedule every day, you can bank your capacity to respond to stress under pressure? It’s a familiar scenario: someone in your work life or personal life needs something from you, and they need it… yesterday! What’s the best response? Plan ahead to include exercise in your life, and your system will be able to deal more easily with pressure like this.

If we leave health and wellness on a back burner until after we’ve dealt with everything else, we won’t get to it and we’ll pay the price for not making time to move. As the saying goes, “If you think you don’t have time for activity, you’d better make time for illness!”

To reduce your physical response to stress, work on building and maintaining your good health and don’t forget to move throughout your day. Every move counts, and more movement is better than less. More movement leads to better balance through improved health and well-being. We can develop balance not only as individuals, but as families, schools, workplaces and communities.

Movement throughout your day should be as important as brushing your teeth. Choosing to move all day, builds health every day. Health improvement comes from all types of physical activity, and is not limited to gyms, sports and structured fitness. While these are all important opportunities to become more active, real health improvements will come from reducing sedentary activities and increasing physical activity. Try to reduce your overall sedentary activities, such as television viewing, computer/screen time and driving. Walk to work, climb the stairs, or ride a bike. If you have a work meeting, take your meeting for a walk.

Ours is a society of quick messaging, quick responses and quick fixes. But you deserve more and need more. The best evidence is found in the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines:

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (click for a larger image)


Dr. Ronald Chapman

About Dr. Ronald Chapman

Ronald Chapman is a physician with a fellowship in community medicine, and extensive experience in the leadership and management of health services with a focus on community health. Dr. Chapman joined the Northern Health team in 2007 as regional director of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy. Dr. Chapman assumed the role of the chief medical health officer of Northern Health in June 2011, and in February 2013, he transitioned to Vice President, Medicine in Northern Health.