Sedentary Lifestyle such as Prolonged
Sitting is the New Smoking? Explore Ways
That Exercise Can Improve Your Health?

By: John Sawdon Director of Public Education & Special Projects

The Following Listing Highlights the Many Health Benefits of Exercise:

  • Reduces the Risk of Hypertension by up to 40%
  • Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease by up to 40%
  • Reduces the Risk of stroke by up to 27%
  • Reduces the Risk of Mortality and Reoccurrence of Breast Cancer By 50%
  • Reduces the Risk of Diabetes by 58%
  • Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s by 40%
  • Reduces Dementia by up to 80%
  • Improves Calf Tissue Oxygenation so that you can walk 50% more with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
  • Increases HDL-Good Cholesterol
  • Reduces Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression (1)

The Beneficial Effects of Exercise Begins When We Are Young:

  • Increases/Improves Academic Performance
  • Has Demonstrated Better Results in Math and English for Children and Adolescents
  • Improves Concentration, Attention, Memory and Mood
  • Boosts Multi-tasking Ability
  • Enhances Sleep
  • Improves Sex Life and Reduces Erectile Dysfunction For Men (1)

The Health Benefits of Physical Activity include the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, the Promotion of Good Mental Health and Maintenance of a Healthy Weight. (2)

Drawing on the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association’s “Exercise Is Medicine” prescription using the FITT pro model, we encourage you to use these guidelines in determining how often and how intensely you should engage in exercise as follows:

F stands for Frequency - The recommendation is to exercise Five days a week

I stand’s for Intensity - The recommendation is moderate to vigorous intensity. Heart rate should reach 50 to 70% of recommended maximum rate for your age. ( The maximum predicted heart rate /MPHR = 220 minus your age)

T stands for Type of exercise - Any exercise that works the large muscle group, increases your heart rate and causes light perspiration is recommended. A good regime or schedule includes aerobics 3 to 5 days a week, ( brisk walking, jogging, cycling, treadmill, swimming and/or aqua fit) as well as 2 to 3 days of resistance exercise or whole body strength training per week.

T stands for Time - The recommendation is 30 minutes a day. The Canadian recommendation for moderate to vigorous exercise is 150 minutes a week.

Pro stands for progression - If your goal is 10 minutes three time s a day, do that for one week and then raise this to 15 minutes three times a week for the next week. The goal set by Exercise Is Medicine is 200 minutes per week

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends at least 60 minutes of light physical activity every day or 30 minutes of moderate physical activity four days a week as part of a Healthy Lifestyle. (3)


  1. Exercise is the Best “Medicine” We Have! Go Get it! John Higgins M.D. FACSM; ACSM Fit Society Volume 16, Number 2, June 2014.
  2. Australian Government- Department of Health Physical Inactivity February 7 2011 National Women’s Health Policy
  3. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2009 Tracking Heart Disease and Stroke In Canada, chapter two Preventing Heart Disease - physical activity ISBN: 978-1-100-12541-1

The articles, on the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada website, are presented with the understanding that the Foundation is providing information only and not rendering medical advice. Please check with your family physician, specialist or health care professional before implementing any of the ideas expressed in these articles.