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6 simple acts to get back on your fitness track

Are you struggling to stick to your physical activity goals? Has the uncertainty around accessing gyms, recreation centres and other active venues across much of the country posed some challenges to achieving them? If this sounds like you, check out these six tips to help you make a plan of attack to get back on track with your fitness goals:

1. Remind yourself of physical activity’s benefitslady jogging with gloves

Remember the main reasons you’re choosing to become more physically active: regular physical activity is excellent for your physicalmental and social health. For example, when you get active, your body releases endorphins and feel-good chemicals that help boost your mood and lower your body’s stress hormones. Plus, physical activity can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and can play a role in preventing mental health issues.

Despite this, most of Canada is not reaping these incredible benefits. According to the 2021 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults, our nation is far from an active one – all the more reason to prioritize getting active!

2. Make your goals more specific

When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to make them as specific as possible. Rather than simply stating that you want to get more active, specify exactly how much more active you want to become. The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous activity like jogging, swimming or dancing, so aim to do around 20 minutes of it every day to reach that number.

Family making snowperson3. Combine resolutions

Combine your physical activity goal(s) with one of your other ones. For example, if you want to spend more quality time with your children this year, why not make it active? You can try walking your kids to school, taking them tobogganing or making a snowperson with them. If you wish to become more mindful and focused this year, try doing activities that incorporate mindfulness such as yoga or tai chi.

man in a chair wheeling on snow4. Swap the gym for the great outdoors

Don’t let the dark, cold winter days stop you from getting active outside! Research shows that time spent outdoors being physically active improves overall well-being and is excellent for your mental health. Whether it’s in your backyard, at a local park or on a nearby trail, getting active outside and in the sun provides added mental health perks, particularly for those experiencing the winter blues. So, make a habit of doing activities such as walking or wheeling around the block, snowshoeing on a nature trail or skating at your local pond or outdoor rink.

man a woman home workout5. Follow along with at-home exercise videos

If you don’t enjoy getting active outdoors (especially in winter) or are self-conscious about exercising in front of others, try watching and following along with at-home workout videos. ParticipACTION has a wide selection available in our free app and on our website. We’ve even partnered with the YMCA to create five new moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise videos suitable for anyone, regardless of ability. Join the YMCA team as they lead you through safe, effective and fun exercises designed to benefit the health of your heart and more!

6. Join the True North Challenge – Feb. 7-21, 2022

Reignite the spark from your New Year’s resolutions and embrace winter by joining the True North Challenge from February 7-21, 2022 ! All movement counts, whether it’s walking, wheeling, shoveling snow, dancing at home or hitting the slopes! Rally up to seven other people and get moving! The more you move, the more chances you have of winning awesome prizes, like a $500 Sport Chek gift card for every team member!

Download or open the free ParticipACTION app and rally your team today.

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