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Get Healthy for Life: Part 3, Putting the best foot forward

Published: November 07, 2014

Part 3: Eat well and be active: Putting the “best” foot forward
This is the third article in a series of articles related to achieving health for life and specifically considers physical activity and exercise and what to look for to achieve a physical activity plan that is “best” for you. 
The other articles in the series are "Beware of fads", "Diet "know-how"", and "Making changes". 
Why be active and why exercise? 
Physical activity for a healthy heart
Physical activity for a healthy heart
There are many health benefits to be gained by being physically active which include:  Before you read any further, take a few moments to think about why you you may want to be physically active. Do you have health issues such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or high blood glucose levels that need to be addressed? Do you want to improve your fitness, be stronger or more flexible? May be your goal is to shed a few kilograms or gain weight.
Write down what you really want to gain from you physical activity or exercise plan.
How will you know if your new plan is successful? Do you have a timeline for results? Are the changes you want to make intended to be long term? How will physical activity affect your lifestyle? Do you already incorporate physical activity and/or exercise in to your daily routine or is this something new for you?
Knowing what your goals are will help you determine the best physical activity plan for you. 
Whatever your reasons are for being physically active if you want to be successful there are several factors that you may want to think about when you are deciding on the physical activity and/or exercise that is best for you. 
These factors include: 
  • Balance of more intense and less intense physical activity formats
  • Adequacy or enough physical activity that will help you attain your goals and support good health
  • Moderation so that your chosen physical activities do not lead to negative health effects
  • Variety so that you won’t get bored with your physical activity plan
  • Cost effective so that your physical activity plan fits your financial plan
  • Adaptability so that your physical activities fit into your schedule and do not becom a chore
Balance:
The terms physical activity and exercise are often used synonymously, but do have different meanings. Exercise usually concerns "physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive" for the purpose of improving and maintaining physical fitness. Physical activity concerns....link to the full article to learn more.

References

1.
CSEP (2003).The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Appraisal. Health Canada
2.
Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
3.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth