Physical Activity

Physical Activity Guidelines

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, with support from The Public Health Agency of Canada, has created new recommendations based on scientific evidence for physical activity for children, youth, adults and older adults.

Boy Kicking BallMore physical activity means greater health benefits for all age groups!

Children (age 5-11) and youth (age 12-17)

For health benefits, children and youth should:

  • Get at least 60 minutes of moderate vigorous physical activity every day.
  • Do vigorous-intensity activities at least 3 days a week.
  • Participate in activities that help strengthen muscle and bone 3 days a week.

Read the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines - including tips and examples - for children (1 page, 72 KB) and youth (1 page, 71 KB).

Couple CyclingAdults (age 18-64 years)

For health benefits, adults should:

  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate and vigorous aerobic physical activity. 150 minutes can be broken down to at least 10 minutes or more, twice a day.
  • Participate in activities that help to strengthen muscle and bone at least 2 days a week.

Read the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines - including tips and examples - for adults (1 page, 69 KB).

Seniors (65 years and older)

For health benefits and to improve functional abilities, adults 65 years and older should:

  • Senior Couple WalkingGet at least 150 minutes of moderate and vigorous aerobic physical activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes or more.
  • Participate in activities that help to strengthen muscle and bone at least 2 days a week.

Those with poor mobility should participate in activities that will enhance balance and help prevent falls.

Read the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines - including tips and examples - for seniors 65 years and older (1 page, 72KB).

Source: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology

Get Active

Aim for Moderate to Vigorous Activity

Getting started

Lacing up running shoesIt's OK to start increasing your physical activity slowly, especially if you haven't done regular moderate or vigorous activity.

Sometimes you have to start slowly and work your way up to more challenging physical activities.

  • Talk to your doctor about your health prior to starting.
  • Start with something you like doing (like walking) so you'll be motivated to continue.
  • Aim for 150 minutes a week, which can be broken down into a little bit every day.
  • Once you get comfortable with 150 minutes per week, try to increase your effort and move to more moderate and vigorous activities.

Consider ways you can add more physical activity into your day.

Physical activity doesn't always have to involve a sport. There are other options, such as:

  • Gardening
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work
  • Parking your vehicle further away and walking to your workplace
  • Playing with your kids outside
  • Taking the dog for an extra walk

The Public Health Agency of Canada has more helpful tips on how to get started for adults aged 18-64 and adults aged 65 years and older. Learn more about physical activity at school and visit the ParticipACTION website to learn how to get your family more active.

Be Physically Active in your Community

Forest PathwayDiscover your community while being active! Enjoy your local trails, parks, walking paths and recreation centres.

Walk and cycle in Peel

Parks and Recreation

  • Visit your local Parks and Recreation Centres for information about:
    • Sport instruction and teams.
    • Fitness and wellness classes for children youth, adults and seniors.
    • Exercise facilities.
    • Camps.
    • Sport organizations.
  • Recreation guides:

Physical Activity Tools

Need More Information?

Call the Canadian Cancer Society
1-888-939-3333
Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

-or-

Speak with a Registered Nurse at Telehealth Ontario
1-866-797-0000
TTY 1-866-797-0007
24 Hours a day, 7 days a Week

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Revised: Friday June 19 2015

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