Participaction, a non-profit group promoting healthy living, recently released a study that gives Canadians a ‘D’ for overall physical activity. Simply put, we are spending too much time sitting in front of our screens which can lead to weight gain, disease, and physical atrophy.

This information makes me sad because my whole life is centered around trying to get people moving. While my classes are full and my students are fit, the challenge is getting newcomers into the gym. I even became a PRO TRAINER with canfitpro to train tomorrow’s fitness leaders to help with this challenge.

We should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week or approximately 20 minutes each day but very few people are achieving this and I can’t understand why.

Some people need a ‘white coat’ or doctor to tell them that their very life depends on getting more active, while others need an injury of some kind, perhaps to their back or knee, to drive them to change their behavior.

Here are some simple ways to build more activity into your day.

First and foremost, try to stand more if you have a desk job. Many employers will give you a standing desk. If this is not an option, try to stand up and shake out the legs often during the day. In fact, stand up right now. You can feel the blood move down into the legs and right away that improves your circulation.

Get out for a walk on your lunch break. Even just 10 to 15 minutes would help.

Park far away from the entrances to stores.

You can find affordable treadmills secondhand that can fold up and store away easily. We purchased a demo model treadmill about 12 years ago. We spent a fair amount of money on it but it was worth every penny.

I find it easiest to dress in my fitness clothes, right out of bed. Get up a bit earlier, put on your gear and walk on your treadmill or outside for a few minutes. You will have so much more energy if you begin the day with a good heart pumping sweat.

Put your treadmill in your living room! I mean it. If you see it, you are more likely to use it!

Ask a friend to become an exercise buddy. Honestly, the people who train together, keep each other accountable. While it is easy to avoid a workout when we are alone, very few of us would let down a friend.

Get yourself a dog! Of course you have to have the time and resources for this but I know of at least two people, who changed their health in a positive way, because they got themselves a rescue dog. The pets forced them to go for long walks, several times a day and in the process they reversed disease.

I sound like broken record because I talk so much about the benefits of exercise. I just want people to know that the secret to good health is in their hands.

Studies like this tell me that my my job is not done. I need to try to reach more people with this message.

I hope to see you in my classes soon and bring a friend!