Be Active

Be Active

Physical activity is key to preventing falls. Make the whole day matter! Following the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults (65 years and older) can help you stay strong, mentally fit, and independent. Move every day, reduce the time that you sit, and get enough sleep.  

Move more doing a variety of physical activity at different intensities: 

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week
  • Muscle strengthening activities at least two days a week 
  • Activities that challenge your balance 
  • Several hours of light activity, including standing 

Not sure where to start? 

  • Physical Activity for Older Adults describes all the types of physical activity, including the different benefits and examples of activities for each type.
  • Complete the Get Active Questionnaire to decide if you should get advice from a health care provider or certified exercise professional before you start. You can also use this reference document if you answered YES to any question on the questionnaire and you have not consulted a health care provider or qualified exercise professional about becoming more physically active. 

Strength and balance exercise can reduce your risk of having a fall 

Walking is good for your heart and lungs, but it may not prevent you from falling. Research shows that strength and balance exercises are one of the most effective ways to prevent falls.

How can I strengthen my legs?

Make your leg muscles and bones stronger with leg exercises using light weights, resistance bands or body weight. If that is too much, try doing repetitions of standing up from your chair without using your hands to help.

Activities like swimming, cycling, dancing, yardwork (like mowing and raking), and walking up hills can keep legs strong.

How can I build my balance?

  • Exercises for balance include safely standing on one leg (holding onto a counter or back of a chair if support is needed), stepping over objects or walking heel to toe. 
  • Many activities like tai chi, dancing, tennis, yoga or lawn bowling, have you leaning forwards, backwards, or to the side, and this helps build balance. 

In Person Group Programs 

Being active with others is a fun way to get moving and socialize. Belonging to a group can also help you stay motivated.

Joining a class at a seniors centre or recreation facility is a great option. If you are new to physical activity or unsure if the program is right for you, chat with your doctor or a certified exercise professional before beginning.

In Person Group Programs
Program Description 
Recreation, Culture and Facility Services, City of Ottawa 
Coalition of Community Health & Resource Centres of Ottawa 
  • Find the Community Health and Resource Centre nearest to you on the map. Select and search their website to see if physical activity options are available. Differs by centre and subject to change. Call the individual centre for inquiries.

Be Active at Home 

Here are some resources to help you move, build strength, and challenge your balance. Choose options for your level of fitness and ability. Be sure to read and follow the recommendations and disclaimers specific to the program or resource. If you are new to physical activity or unsure if the program is right for you, chat with your doctor or a certified exercise professional before you start. 

Be Active at Home
Program DescriptionLanguage


Active Aging Canada 

Explore this page for a variety of resources on staying active at home. 

  • Sign up for their newsletter to stay informed. 







Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging 



Videos for someone who exercises regularly and doesn’t require a mobility aid. 

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness sessions, each 35 – 45 minutes  

  • Strength training videos for muscular strength and endurance, each 30 – 40 minutes  

  • Balance and flexibility sessions, each 9-13 minutes 


English only 


Parachute - Injury Prevention Centre 

This resource provides how-to instructions on movements you can do during your daily routine that will improve strength and balance. 



Finding Balance Alberta 


Prior to using the information in the booklet please read the disclaimer


Exercises and information on using resistance bands to build strength and prevent falls are provided in this booklet. 

English only 


Ottawa Public Health & Recreation, Culture, and Facility Services, City of Ottawa 

A beginner level program for those wishing to improve their strength and balance airing on Rogers TV.




Finding Balance Alberta 


Prior to participating in the video please read the disclaimer.  


Beginner level video of exercises. 

 English only 


Finding Balance Alberta 


Prior to participating in these exercises please read the disclaimer. 


Poster of beginner level exercises. 





Osteoporosis Canada 

Exercise recommendations for those with osteoporosis. The Too Fit to Fall or Fracture guide gives further details on strength training, balance exercises, posture awareness, and aerobic physical activity. 



Parkinson Canada 

Physical activity information and specific exercises for those living with Parkinson’s. 









ParticipACTION has partnered with the YMCA on a new series of expert-led exercise videos suitable for a range of fitness levels. Many options to choose from.  

  • 20 minutes or less to fit into your day 

  • A seated and non-seated option in each video. 

  • A range of exercise videos from low intensity to moderate/vigorous intensity. 


Stay up to date and click on Subscribe at the top of the page to receive newsletters. 



Montreal Public Health 


Videos for 5 different levels of fitness. The fitness levels range from someone who exercises regularly and doesn’t have a mobility aid, to someone who uses a wheelchair and needs help to get up. 

  • Each video is 10 – 15 minutes. 

  • Printable version of the exercises available in other languages 



Printable version of full program in other languages (PDF): 






Arthritis Society Canada 


A variety of physical activity videos and information for those living with arthritis. 






Ministère de la Famille du Québec,  




MOVE 50 + est une plateforme interactive regroupant une variété de capsules vidéo d’entraînement et d’articles d’informations santé spécialement conçus pour les besoins des 50 ans et +.  French only 


Geriatric Division of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre 


A home-based program for older adults with mobility issues as well as information and resources regarding health and well-being. 

  • Exercise videos to gain strength, balance and flexibility to prevent falling and increase confidence to keep moving.  

  • There are 4 levels of exercise. A person starts at Level 1 and stays at this level until comfortable moving to the next level.  

  • Every level has five videos, each targeting a specific component of exercise. Together, they form a well-balanced program. 







Ottawa Public Health 


 11 strength and balance exercises you can do at home 




Other Resources
Resource Language
Active Aging Canada 


Canadian 24- Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults (65 years and older) 


Get Active Questionnaire 


Get Active Reference document   


Physical Activity for Older Adults 


Physical Activity and Parkinson’s Disease 


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