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Regular physical activity can improve your health and help prevent chronic diseases, like arthritis, asthma, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There are 3 levels of disease prevention:

  1. Primary Prevention. Trying to prevent yourself from getting a disease. That’s what this sheet is about.
  2. Secondary Prevention. Trying to detect a disease early and prevent it from getting worse.
  3. Tertiary Prevention. Trying to improve your quality of life and reduce the symptoms of a disease you already have.

 Primary prevention.

At the primary prevention level, we try to avoid getting a disease by leading a healthy lifestyle. This can include physical activity, good nutrition, getting enough rest, reducing stress, having regular medical check-ups and trying to stay away environmental risks and harmful substances.

Here are some steps to take if you’d like to use physical activity as a form of primary prevention.

How to decide if physical activity is right for you.

  • Call the Physical Activity Line and fill out a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q).

How to overcome barriers to physical activity.

  • See the Barriers to being physically active and Overcoming barriers pages, on this site.

What types of activities to do.

There are 3 types of activities to keep your body healthy:

  1. Activities for strong bones and muscles.
  2. Activities for safe and healthy joints and muscles.
  3. Activities for healthy and strong heart and lungs.

Adults should do 30 or more minutes of moderate activity 5-7 days per week. Children and youth should do 90 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Remember, activity doesn’t have to be done all at once. It can be done 10-15 minutes at a time.

 Things to keep in mind.

See the Warming up, Cooling down, Injury prevention, How much activity is enough and How to stay active pages on this site.

Click to view the PDF version of this document: PDF File

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The health information provided on this website is only a guide. You also need to rely on your common sense and good judgment. If you receive advice from a doctor or health professional that does not agree with the information provided here, follow the advice of your doctor or health professional since it is based on your specific history and needs.

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