The Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine

Physical Activity and Exercise


Physical activity can help you live longer, healthier lives - and you don't have to be a top athlete or star soccer player to feel the benefits of regular physical activity and exercise. Neither does it have to involve long gym sessions, personal trainers, high intensity workout routines, or buying exercise equipment. In the words of one sports manufacturer, when it comes to exercise, "Just do it" and you will feel the results.


The World Health Organization has identified physical inactivity as the fourth-leading risk factor in worldwide mortality. People who take part in physical activity reduce their risk of

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension,
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Depression

Furthermore, since exercise burns energy (calories) it also plays a significant role in weight control.



Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health
The World Health Organization
ISBN 978 92 4 159 997 9

A detailed report into the significance of physical activity on public health, including recommended levels of activity for all age groups. Available to download as a PDF.



Dementia and Apo-E Research related to Physical Activity
“Not only has physical activity been shown to have preventative and treatment effects for cardiovascular disease, Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome and other obesity related diseases, but promising research suggests that together with a plant-based or Mediterranean diet, early dementia can be prevented in carriers of the Apo-E gene.”

  • AMA Neurology, May 2012, Vol 69, No. 5 (Denise Head et al)
  • Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2010, 20(3) 785-799 (Lana Arab, MD and Marwan N. Sabbagh, MD)


Health Lab Videos: “23 ½ Hours” and “Make Your Day Harder”
Dr. Mike Evans is developing innovative health messaging for the world. His media lab fuses patients with creative (filmmakers, designers, writers) and expert clinician-researchers.


The premise of his lab is that most healthcare happens at home and that the biggest missing workforce is the public, and that if we can create high quality infectious health media we can engage “peer-to-peer healthcare”.


Dr. Evans tells evidence-based stories and then imbeds them in the relationships of care: friend to friend, caregiver to patient, hockey player to hockey player.




Exercise Is Medicine Canada

“What if there was one prescription that could prevent and treat dozens of diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity? Would you prescribe it to your patients? Certainly.”


Exercise is Medicine Canada (EIMC) is a movement to encourage a healthy lifestyle among Canadians. EIMC programs are based on abundant evidence that physical activity and exercise reduce the risk of chronic disease and the belief that:


Most Canadians can find simple ways to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routines;

More should be done to address physical activity and exercise in the healthcare setting; physical activity and exercise should be incorporated as a key health indicator and standard of medical care as a ‘vital sign’; and Certified exercise professionals serve as important resources for Canadians and their healthcare providers.






For some time now, you’ve heard that physical activity is synonymous with being healthy. The more active you are, the healthier you are. More recently, you’ve probably heard news stories telling you that your office chair is killing you, that sitting is the new smoking. The less you sit, the healthier you are.
In short, sit less, move more!




The HealtheSteps Program

The HealtheSteps™ Program is an evidence-based, community-focused, lifestyle prescriptions (Rx) program, supported by in-person coaching and innovative health technologies. The program improves the health of Canadians and reduces their risk for chronic disease by tackling three major risk factors that are shared across a number of chronic diseases: physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, and poor diet. A free HealtheSteps healthy living app is available.




Walk with a Doc Program


The program's mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country.

Walk with a Doc was created by Dr. David Sabgir, a board-certified cardiologist who practices with Mount Carmel Clinical Cardiovascular Specialists—at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s.

London, Ontario has started a chapter of Walk with a Doc and you can find them on Facebook.



Disclaimer: No guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made regarding the information and materials listed. CALM has made every effort to list only reliable, evidence-based, scientific information, papers, etc. Please carefully review all information to determine its suitability for your specific needs.

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