What’s stopping me from being active?

Here is a list of the top 10 barriers for older adults, as reported by The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute:

  • Not enough energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Illness or injury
  • Fear of injury
  • Lack of skill
  • Not enough time
  • Ill at ease
  • Lack of facilities
  • Cost
  • Lack of safe places

Many of us feel that we are too tired to be active. But once they get started, most people say that physical activity helps them feel better and gives them more energy.

Do it because you enjoy it

The key is to choose activities that you enjoy. Why? Because it will motivate you. Here are some examples:

  • Do you like to dance? Why not turn on some music and move to the beat?
  • Do you like nature? Go for a walk and take in the scenery.
  • Do you like gardening? No yard? Try a balcony garden.

Being active can help you relax. It can also keep you independent longer. Staying active is important to your physical and mental health. Here are some more examples of things that you might like to do:

  • Wash and wax your car.
  • Take your grandchildren for a walk.
  • Use a wheelchair? No problem -- ‘wheeling’ can be as beneficial as walking.

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What’s stopping me from being active?

Make it a routine

Build activities that you like into your daily routine. To get great health benefits, choose activities that promote:

  • endurance
  • flexibility
  • strength
  • balance.

Here are some examples of ordinary activities that promote endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance:

  • Walk the stairs in your house or apartment.
  • Wash the floors.
  • Clean up one of the shelves in your kitchen cupboards.

Adapted with permission from the Alberta Centre for Active Living. The Centre advocates for physical activity and is a great source of research and education on this topic. Its mandate is to improve the health and quality of life for all people through physical activity.