If you’re thinking about increasing your physical activity, congratulations! If you exercise regularly or stay fairly active – exponentially notate that congrats by 100. Sound dramatic? Read the stats.
Did you know that physical inactivity is considered a global heath problem? In developed countries, physical inactivity is the second most important risk factor for ill health, after tobacco smoking.
Worldwide, a sedentary life is one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability. Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases, and is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths globally.
Physical inactivity is the most prevalent risk factor for premature death and disability for Canadians of all ages. According to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, two-thirds of all Canadians have dangerously inactive lifestyles.
Osteoporosis and related fractures (a potentially debilitating disease characterized by loss of bone mass & strength, affects nearly half of the population over the age of 75)
Osteoarthritis (a disease that causes joint swelling, limits movements, and pain)
Sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
Overweight and obesity
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (A chronic disease that causes serious health complications including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and blindness.)
Hypertension (aka high blood pressure… more than half of Americans over 65 have it.
Metabolic syndrome (People with metabolic syndrome have some or all of the following: high blood glucose, high blood pressure, abdominal obesity,low HDL elevated cholesterol and high triglycerides.)
Heart disease and stroke
Peripheral arterial disease (This is a blockage of the arteries in the legs caused by an accumulation of plaque.)
Colon & breast cancer
Alzheimers, dementia, and cognitive impairment (Abnormally accelerated deterioration of mental faculties and emotional stability in old age).
Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q)
Has it been a while since you’ve worked up a sweat? Do you have any health concerns from the list above (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension)? PAR-Q before you embark!
The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire was developed by the British Columbia Ministry of Health and revised by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology in 2002.
For over a decade, this questionnaire has been the standard for fitness safety. It’s a quick self-assessment tool designed to help you identify the potential hazards or risks associated with an increase in physical activity.
As stated on the form, an increase in activity won’t pose a hazard for most. However, some individuals will need medical advice to determine what types of activities are suitable, helpful, and safe.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions:
Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activities recommended by a doctor?
Do you feel pain in your chest when you exercise?
In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not exercising?
Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?
Do you have a bone or joint problem (for example, back knee or hip) that could be made worse by a change in your activity level?
Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition?
Do you know of any other reason why you should not be active?
If you answered “yes” to any of the 7 questions, print out the two-page form and discuss it with your doctor before you increase your activity or begin the new exercise regime.