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Frequently Asked Questions

Aren't we already active enough?

Unfortunately not! Research confirmed that very few people in our community do enough physical activity to reach the minimum requirements to see positive health benefits. On average, over 50% or people in the southeast region are inactive and only 35% are active for more than 15 minutes / day. People in the South East region are less active than other NBers on average and NBers are less active than the Canadian average. In fact we are among the top three least active provinces in the country.

How much physical activity is enough?

If you are inactive, doing anything is better then nothing! Studies show that people who have a low fitness level are much more likely to die early then people who have achieved a moderate level of fitness. The following chart indicates how often, how long and how hard you need to be active for health benefits:

Physical Activity Chart
Time needed depends on effort. Use the Physical Activity Chart as your guide.

Physical activity is very expensive. How can I afford to stay active?

Although some clubs may cost a lot of money to join, there are always recreational and fun possibilities at local community centers, through the municipal parks and recreation department or with local sports associations that are offered free or at a reasonable cost. Remember that if you don’t stay active, it can cost you your life.

Is exercise safe?

The potential health benefits of exercise greatly outweigh the risk. Consult your doctor first if you have any concerns, have been sedentary, are overweight, are middle-aged or older or have a medical condition.

I have been inactive for years. Shouldn't I see a doctor before I start becoming physically active?

People who are middle-aged or older who are inactive and at high risk for heart disease or who already have a medical condition should seek medical advice before they start or significantly increase their physical activity. Most apparently healthy people of any age can safely engage in moderate levels of physical activity without prior medical consultation.

I am a senior citizen. Is it too late for me to become physically active?

More and more older adults are proving every day that they aren't too old to exercise. In fact, the older you are, the more you need regular exercise. Studies have shown that no matter what your age, physical activity can contribute to improved health.

Is it ever too early for a child to be physically active?

We are born to be active! The body goes through stages of development and in each of these stages, physical movement is essential. From the "arm swinging and leg kicking" of infants; to toddlers transitioning from crawling to walking; to preschoolers exploring running, jumping, climbing and throwing.

Adults can assist children in this progression by "playing games" with children. Many adults know more games then children do! Playing games is a natural, healthy and enjoyable way for children to be active.

What can I do to get my child more physically active?

First, set a good example yourself. Children really do model their parent’s behavior.

  • Limit television, movies, videos and computer games to less then two hours a day. Substitute the rest of leisure time with physical activity. 
  • Plan family outings that involve vigorous activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, etc.
  • Choose fitness oriented gifts - a jump rope, mini trampoline, tennis racket, frisbee, etc. 
  • Give your children household chores that require physical exertion (as long as it is appropriate for the age of your child), like: mowing the lawn, raking leaves, scrubbing floors and taking out garbage.

For more information on how you can encourage your children to be active, you can go to a series provided by Canada Physical Activity Guides for children and youth.

Should I enroll my children into sports?

Many children will benefit and thrive from the team aspect provided by sport. Monitor your children to see where their interest lies. Some children will be more independent in nature while others seek out others and enjoy competition. Check out your local community for opportunities for your children. Try and provide a wide exposure to different activities for your children to pick from.

If I exercise, will I prevent heart disease?

Physical inactivity, along with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, is one of the major modifiable risk factors for heart attack. This is no guarantee that you will not get heart disease; however, your chances of heart disease developing are less if you increase your physical activity levels. 

Is physical activity an effective way of losing weight?

Aerobic exercise uses fat as a fuel and when combined with diet modification, will enhance weight loss. The optimal amount of exercise is 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate intensity.

Is staying active just as important as taking exercise classes?

If you walk everywhere you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator, participate in fun sporting activities with friends, take the dog out regularly, go out on the weekends jigging, trapping, or snowshoeing, you are contributing enormously to your well being.