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Feb 2023 | Heartfelt Physical Activity

February is the month we associate with that all-important organ – the heart -- for those we love at Valentine’s Day and Family Day, plus the month’s health theme of heart and stroke.


Athletic Therapy Ontario pays tribute to heart health facts and public education and awareness efforts of the Heart & Stroke organizations every February through its social media and other communications.

Athletic Therapists (ATs) are familiar with Health Canada’s recommendations for physical activity that serve to support heart health that include at least 60 minutes per day for children and youth of moderate to vigorous physical activity involving a variety of aerobic activities and at least 150 minutes per week for adults and seniors of moderate to vigorous physical activity. For those of us involved in sport and exercise medicine, it’s clear that physical activity helps keep us healthy. We know athletic endeavours and physical activities gives us energy, decreases stress, makes us stronger and prolongs independence thanks to increased mobility as we age. Physical activity is also a powerful prescription to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

ATs tell clients and all served to Get Active & Stay Active. Athletic and physical activity for children age 5 to 11 results in overall improved health, increased strength, enhanced bone density and better self-awareness and confidence. Plus, starting an active lifestyle at an early age, creates positive habits for a lifetime. There are lots of research studies demonstrating that athletic activities reduce significantly risk and incidence of chronic conditions for the physically active between age 18 and 64 years. These conditions include heart and stroke, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer.


We can all recall that early ParticipACTION campaign that shamed us all into more physical activity. Remember that 60-year-old Swede shown to be fitter than the average 30-year-pld Canadian?


ATs remind you that the time to get off the couch is now and always.


Image Source: D’Silva & Sharma, 2017

References:

  • Della Valle E, Grimaldi R, Farinaro E. L'importanza dell'attività fisica nella prevenzione delle malattie cronico degenerative [Importance of physical activity for prevention of chronic diseases]. Ann Ig. 2008 Sep-Oct;20(5):485-93. Italian. PMID: 19069254.

  • D'Silva A, Sharma S. Management of young competitive athletes with cardiovascular conditions. Heart 2017;103:463-473.

  • Vella, SA. The contribution of organised sports to physical activity in Australia. JSAMS, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2015 April 30; 20(5) p,407–412.

  • Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006 Mar 14;174(6):801-9. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351. PMID: 16534088; PMCID: PMC1402378.

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