Fitting In Physical Fitness

By Northern Health on March 13 2013

By Brandon Grant, Northern Health men’s health coordinator;
Meghan Mcquhae, Northern Health men’s health
program practicum student; and Jasmine Ford, Northern
health men’s health program practicum student.
We’re all repeatedly told that physical activity is an
important part of a healthy lifestyle, but if you’re
like me, tuition and rent take priority over an expensive
membership to a local gym. So how can
we add activity into our daily lives cheaply (or better
yet, for free) and easily? Getting active doesn’t
have to cost money or take time away from having

The World Health Organization recommends 150
minutes of weekly activity for an adult - that may
sound like a lot but when you break it down you’re
looking at about 20 minutes per day of either cardio
or weight training. The efficiency of these exercises
depends less on the amount of time and more
on the quality of the activity.

If you need something more stimulating than running,
try dancing. Dancing while you do the laundry
or dishes is a great way to get your heart pumping.
If dancing is not your thing, you can try using
everyday household items to help you get active.
Instead of expensive weight sets, it’s cheaper and
just as effective to use cans of soup to do your bicep
curls. If you find you’re already way too buff for
cans of soup, try using your pickle jar, or if you’re
really tough, try using your laundry soap. The key
is repetition, so count to twelve on one side and
then repeat on the other.

When Friday night rolls around and you have a
hot date, try to get active together! No, not THAT
way - try taking a romantic walk around scenic Fort
George Park or a bike ride along the Ancient Forest
Trail. If you don’t have a special someone in
your life, try getting together with your friends and
forming a sports team of your very own! It’s easy to
find local fields and parks which can serve as your
own BC Place. Make sure to avoid mid-season injuries
by wearing protective gear for the more physical

In my house, everything is a competition for who has
to take out the trash or do the dishes. Next time you
and your roommate, spouse or sibling are about to
battle it out in an epic game of rock-paper-scissors, instead
try making the contest physical. A race around
the block or even competing to see who can build
a snowman the fastest provides some much needed
physical activity.

Physical activity is just one component of leading a
healthy lifestyle; remember to also eat healthy and
follow Canada’s Food Guide. If you don’t have a
sweet tooth for plants, try freezing a bag of grapes
for a refreshing snack or sprinkling your apples slices
with cinnamon and lemon juice. Daily physical activity
and healthy eating have been shown to improve
your overall health and as a bonus it makes you look
and feel great! So get out there and get active, your
wallet and your jeans will thank you.

For more ideas on living healthy, check out the
Northern Health blog at and
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WGO2013Norm Coyne