Exercise is an important part of living a healthy life. Learn how to start exercising safely and discover how exercise can improve the health of caregivers and people receiving care.

Benefits of exercise

  • Improve strength, fitness, and balance
  • Feel more energized
  • Prevent caregiving related injuries (e.g., when repositioning and transferring)
  • Manage chronic disease better
  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Reduce risk of falls
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Continue participating in leisure activities and hobbies
There are four main types of exercises:
  • Helps prevent falls and improve coordination.
  • It is recommended to do balance exercises daily.
Example: standing on one foot.
  • Helps strengthen muscles and bones to protect against injury from daily tasks like helping someone move and transfer, or carrying heavy items.
  • It is recommended to do strength exercises 2 to 3 times per week.
Example: lifting weights, carrying groceries.
  • Helps improve energy levels, breathing, and heart health.
  • It is recommended to do endurance exercises 3 to 5 times per week.
Example: walking, biking or dancing.
  • Also referred to as stretching. Helps reduce muscle stiffness and pain.
  • It is recommended to do flexibility exercises 3 to 5 times per week.
Example: yoga or stretching.

Who can help me start exercising?

Some people may not be comfortable creating an exercise plan for themselves. Health professionals such as a physiotherapist, registered kinesiologist, or personal trainer, can help create exercise prescriptions.
Getting an exercise prescription may be especially helpful if someone:
  • Is new to exercise and unsure where to start
  • Has a history of falls
  • Is living with osteoporosis, COPD, heart failure, dementia or Alzheimer’s, or other chronic health conditions
Ask a doctor about getting an exercise prescription. Most provincial health plans cover physiotherapist services, and some extended health plans may cover registered kinesiologist or personal trainer services.

Tips for safe exercise:

  • Focus on breathing throughout exercising. Avoid holding your breath.
  • Focus on good posture. Keep both shoulders down. Sit or stand tall.
  • Stay hydrated before and after exercise.
  • Take as many breaks as needed, especially when tired or out of breath.
  • Start with easier exercises before challenging yourself.
  • Gently tighten stomach muscles throughout the exercise routine to engage more muscles.
  • Slightly bend knees when doing standing exercises to help with balance and improve leg strength.


Safe Exercise