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For women in the postpartum period, returning to physical activity should be a gradual process. Women who physically overextend themselves too soon after giving birth may experience delays in recovery. Low-impact activities, like walking, swimming or stretching, offer a great starting point for returning to movement.

Exercise has many beneficial effects on the heart. Regular exercise reduces body weight, blood pressure, improves muscular function and strength of the heart and improves the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen. Research shows that adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of modest activity every day for heart health benefits. Modest activity may include a brisk walk, swimming and cycling.

Exercising during pregnancy can have many benefits for a pregnant woman’s health. Staying active helps reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension, and lowers postpartum recovery time. To see the benefits of exercise, healthy pregnant women need 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. This can include a mix of aerobic activity, such as biking or walking, and light resistance exercises.

Research shows that physical activity can improve academic performance in children. In addition, engaging in physical activity can improve attention and cognition. It is recommended that teachers provide students with physical activity breaks and that physical activity is integrated into the curriculum.

Research shows that active transportation, such as walking, wheeling or cycling to get to and from places, is associated with improved physical and mental health. But only 7% of adults living in Canada use active travel. Time spent outdoors interacting with nature and green spaces can improve our mental well-being and decrease our environmental footprint. This helps us feel empowered every time we choose to walk, ride or wheel!

After injury, athletes can experience a range of negative emotions and coping strategies (e.g., anxiety, worry, ruminating or dwelling, avoidance). Self-compassion can enable athletes to focus on healthier, more proactive ways of moving forward with recovery, and may even reduce injury occurrence by decreasing athletes’ physiological activation to stress and facilitating their ability to focus on relevant cues when on the field, court, or ice.