Keep on exercising

Comments (5)
By Peter Hadzipetros

Despite frost warnings in parts of the country, it's almost June and definitely trending warmer. Time for all of us to get more active.

Except that teenager who's probably still asleep in his or her basement lair.

There's a good reason for that, according to a recent study out of the Université de Montréal. It found – surprise, surprise – that teens are more active in the warmer months than during the dead of winter.

No shocker there. However, the study — published in the Annals of Epidemiology — also found that the winter drop-off continues and builds each year. Your kid may be getting a little more active in the spring and summer, but not active enough to compensate for the previous winter's drop-off.

The study found that for every 10 mm of rainfall, the number of physical activity sessions per day dropped by two to four per cent. Physical activity sessions rose by one to two per cent for every 10 C rise in temperature. Overall, activity decreased by seven per cent per year.

So by the time you're sure your teen's ready to move on and — say — find a summer job, they've barely got the get-up-and-go to carry out a midnight raid on the refrigerator.

A second study — also out of the Université de Montréal and just as "surprising" — found that Canadian adults aren't active enough.

Increasingly less active teenagers turning into less active adults?

It was a pretty comprehensive study — collecting data from other surveys from over two decades. The results were published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

The study found that 56 per cent of Canadian adults are consistently inactive. Only 12 per cent of participants remained active from survey to survey.

There was one bright spot: 25 per cent of those surveyed increased their levels of activity over time.

That is good news because other studies have shown that it's never too late to get into an exercise program. Just don't nag me into it.

A study
— published several years ago in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine — found that 98 per cent of people over 50 surveyed said that getting exercise is key to staying healthy. But getting them off the couch was another matter.

Part of the problem: warning people to see their doctor before embarking on an exercise program made it sound like there's a risk to exercising.

Of course there is. Sure, running a marathon may cause short-term injury to your heart, but the effects are gone within a week. And you'll be healthier than your less active friends.

At least that's what a cardiologist told me last week after reviewing my test results.

"No signs of damage or blockage anywhere," he said. "Your heart rate's a little low. But that's a sign of a fit person."

"Keep on exercising."

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments (5)



One of my favourite cartoons at the doctor's was of a physician telling an overweight patient "what fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?" If you have time to over eat, watch tv and surf the internet responding to blogs like this, you have ample time to exercise. It's all in the priorities you set.

Posted June 20, 2009 07:53 PM

Jane D


MarcB, there is a lot of merit to what toomanycrayons posted. I am a working mother with two children under the age of four, yet I manage to work out 10+ hours a week. And I am not "priviledged". You don't have to be working out in 2-3 hour blocks of time to get the benefits from exercise. Yesterday for example, I ran 45 minutes (with my child in a stroller and my dog at my side) before work, went to a yoga class over my lunch hour, and biked to and from the office. Voila- 2 hours of exercise. It takes some planning, but it really isn't that hard to fit exercise into your day, even if you are busy. As for people not having the energy to exercise, regular exercise increases your energy level and improves your sleep. The "too busy" and "too tired" excuses are just that- excuses.

Posted June 10, 2009 03:46 PM



The above poster lives in a bubble of ignorance and priviledge. Not everyone has time or energy to work out for 2-3 hours a week 5 times a week. Some people have kids or relatives to take care of. They have extra work to do at home. They have sleep to catch up on. If everyone had a job as easy as yours sounds, with no real responsibilities, then yes there would be some merrit in what you say. Very Marie Antoinette of you.

I do not have nearly the responsibilities or commitments of most people as I am a student, but I am not unable to understand how difficult it must be for others.

Posted June 10, 2009 02:59 PM

Johnny Longsleeves

I just came back from a 2 week stint in rural Southern Texas ( where it's warm and sunny year round) and I would say the majority of the people I saw ( driving Pickup trucks) were on the heavier side of healthy. This included kids shopping with their 'overweight' parents at Walmart.

The scenery didn't improve at the local restaurants. Many of the "younger people" were doing their best to be ' just like mommy and daddy'.

Now I don't want to pass judgement, not having the opportunity to walk a block in their shoes, but at what point does someone realize they are getting fat!

As a runner-in-training, I've been trying to determine whether I run to eat or eat to run. Economists call this the Runner's Paradox.

Posted June 8, 2009 12:35 PM



"And you'll be healthier than your less active friends."

I got a few "Disagrees" for comments elsewhere that, regarding the obesity epidemic, we "should give shame a chance." I don't apologise for linking fitness to social worth.

The burden of low-fitness and obesity related disorders is set to beggar our society. I suspect that the burden will approach the current financial crisis. The added toll is that the unfit/obese are like the wounded in war: They just keep on being a drain, a self-inflicted one.

Recently, Amanda Lang of BNN related the sad news that the way to lose weight turns out to be "Eat less. Do more." She then added that no one wanted to hear that, did they? Indeed.

A WWII vet told me that the rule was: "Never make friends with the fat guy because you'd end up carrying his bag."

Sixty-five years since WWII and nothing's changed. I have no "less active friends." Surprisingly, I've been told that "everything is easy for me because I'm so skinny!" (6' 2"-195lbs?) Yeah, and it might be the 10-15 hours/week of exercise and sensible eating?

I resent the fat and the unfit. A trip to the mall is disgusting. What are all these slobs thinking? If they think that everything will be fine they should work on that.

"Keep exercising?" They'd better start. Our civilisation is driven by fear and shame. That hasn't changed. I don't think the outcome of global warming will be more for everyone. It most certainly won't be more than you need for anyone.

Wow, rants like that are like doing hill-repeats: Good for the soul.

Anybody going medium-long today? I have to burn off some pizza. I'm thinking 3hrs @ 125-145 bpm. Then maybe some icecream.

Posted June 7, 2009 06:59 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment


Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Back of the Pack »

About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

More from Peter Hadzipetros »

Recent Posts

For the love of it
Peter Hadzipetros
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Keep on exercising
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, May 29, 2009
Massage: not all it's cracked up to be?
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, May 8, 2009
Sports drinks: playing with your brain
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, April 17, 2009
Exactly what do you mean by moderate?
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, March 20, 2009
Subscribe to this blog

Recent Comments

One of my favourite cartoons at the doctor's was of a phy...
Keep on exercising
MarcB, there is a lot of merit to what toomanycrayons pos...
Keep on exercising
The above poster lives in a bubble of ignorance and privi...
Keep on exercising
I just came back from a 2 week stint in rural Southern Te...
Keep on exercising
"And you'll be healthier than your less active friends."<...
Keep on exercising


July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (2)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (1)
January 2009 (1)
December 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
July 2008 (2)
June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (2)
February 2008 (1)
January 2008 (2)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (4)
October 2007 (3)
September 2007 (3)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (5)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (6)
March 2007 (3)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (2)
November 2006 (3)
October 2006 (3)
September 2006 (4)
August 2006 (5)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

World »

Hurricane Matthew soaks Colombia, heads for Jamaica
One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history weakened a little on Saturday as it drenched coastal Colombia and roared across the Caribbean on a course that still puts Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba in the path of potentially devastating winds and rain.
CBC in Paris Paris mayor's attempt to curb traffic along Seine leaves some commuters fuming
The Paris mayor's decision to close the right bank of the Seine river to cars as a means of reducing air pollution has left many in the city hyperventilating.
Russian jets strike Aleppo as Moscow ramps up Syria bombing campaign
Russian war planes struck rebel-held areas north of Aleppo on Saturday as the army shelled the besieged old quarter in a major offensive, rebels and a monitoring group said.
more »

Canada »

Prince William and Kate visit social services centres in Victoria video
Prince William and Kate are continuing their royal visit by meeting with social service agencies, which have featured prominently in their schedule since they arrived last Saturday.
Who's teaching mandated Indigenous content? Students call for more training for professors
The University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University are making sure all new students are taught Indigenous culture and history, no matter what faculty they're in. But while many Lakehead students and faculty applaud the idea, some say the reality isn't quite what they'd imagined.
Updated Residents shocked by damage after Windsor, Ont., flood video
After record rainfalls in Windsor and Tecumseh, Ont., work crews were overwhelmed with calls from homeowners with flooded basements.
more »

Politics »

Christy Clark says she won't accept Liberal adoption of Harper's health-care limits audio
The Liberal government's pledge to maintain the health-care spending escalator unilaterally set by the former Harper government is unacceptable, B.C. Premier Christy Clark says, demanding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau come up with more money.
Alberta Progressive Conservatives launch leadership race in Lethbridge
The race to determine the next leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative party officially kicks off Saturday night.
Q&A How anxiety drives voter choices and election campaign strategy
Why do some issues become the focus of an election campaign — even when they're unlikely to directly impact voters' lives? Anxiety is a strong driver, according to the authors of a new book about fear and politics, and they say we're seeing that in the U.S. election campaign.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Former Power Rangers actor pleads not guilty to roommate's murder
A former Power Rangers actor charged with stabbing his California roommate to death with a sword has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Robin Williams was fighting 'terrorist within his brain,' widow says in essay
Susan Schneider Williams says Robin Williams' rare brain disease left the couple struggling to understand his symptoms, in a new essay published in the medical journal Neurology.
Damon Gupton joins Criminal Minds cast after Thomas Gibson firing
Damon Gupton has joined the cast of Criminal Minds after Thomas Gibson was fired last month.
more »

Technology & Science »

Rosetta spacecraft helped us 'dig into our past' and understand where we came from
Europe's comet-chasing space probe Rosetta may be lost to us for good, but the discoveries it made during its 12-year mission studying a distant, icy comet will help us unravel mysteries of life and the universe for decades to come.
People's love of beer shaped yeast's genetic history
A group of Belgian researchers has discovered that the yeast used to brew beer today started its life more than 500 years ago, and it’s our love of the frothy beverage that shaped the microbe’s genetic history.
New chemicals may be less toxic, safer for Arctic wildlife: researcher
The new chemicals are meant to replace Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that are linked to serious health issues like diabetes and cancer.
more »

Money »

Sam Adams CEO offers advice on how to build a $2B craft brewing empire video
The founder and CEO of Samuel Adams Brewery sits down to talk craft beer and business strategy with On the Money host Peter Armstrong.
Alberta's minimum wage now highest among provinces
Alberta's working poor got a helping hand today. The province boosted the minimum wage by a dollar to $12.20 an hour, making it the highest rate among Canada's provinces.
Rogers to cut magazine print editions, sell some publications
Rogers Media says it is overhauling its magazine division by eliminating some print editions, shifting to more digital content and selling off some publications.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Denny Morrison works to regain edge after stroke, motorcycle crash
Denny Morrison's return to competitive speed skating has been filled with adulation as well as hardship.
Ryder Cup: Spanish rally brings Europe closer
Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello rallied from 4 down with six holes to play Saturday morning to earn a half-point that pulled Europe within one point of the Americans going into the final team session.
Henderson falls to 2nd at LPGA Tour event in China video
Mi Jung Hur birdied the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Canadian Brooke Henderson on Saturday in the Reignwood LPGA Classic.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »