Physical Activity

“The doctor of the future will prescribe no drugs but will interest his patients in the care and nutrition of the human frame and in the cause and prevention of disease” – Thomas Edison (1847-1931)


Physical Activity

Did you know that physical activity is important for many aspect of your overall health?  In fact, it is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and prevent illness. Physical activity has been proven to:

  • Improve mental health
  • Increased fitness
  • Strengthen muscles and bones
  • Help with weight loss, weight maintenance and prevention of obesity
  • Reduce the risk of many chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis
  • Help with the management of many chronic conditions
  • And much more..!

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines Recommendations

CHILDREN (5-11 years old) and YOUTH (12-17 years old)

  • 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily
  • Vigorous intensity activities at least 3 days/ week
  • Activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least 3 days/ week

More is better! 


ADULTS (18-65 years old)

  • 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity weekly in bouts of 10 minutes or more
  • Muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least 2 days weekly

More is better!


ADULTS (65 years and older)

  • Same guidelines as adults age 18-65
  • Those with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls

Taken from the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology 2011.


Examples of moderate activity: brisk walk, dancing, slow jogging, leisurely swimming, golf, cleaning house, lawn mowing, yoga

Examples of vigorous activity: running, fast cycling, fast swimming, jumping rope, calisthenics (push ups, sit ups, squats, jumping jacks etc…), HIIT (high-intensity interval training)

Fun facts

  1. Physical activity does not have to be an organized sport. It can be a leisurely bike ride, household chores, gardening, walking or dancing. Getting up and moving has health benefits.
  2. Physical activity improves your mental performance and sharpens your memory
  3. Listening to music during physical activity can improve your performance
  4. Physical activity can help prevent signs of aging and boost your immune system
  5. Physical activity can help improve your self-confidence
  6. Physical activity can help you sleep better
Physical activity videos

Exercise and stretches for people who work at a desk

Community Resources for Physical activity

Low cost:

Various inexpensive fitness centers - many locations across Ottawa – cost depends on membership type and location (approx. 15-25 $ per month + membership fee)

  • Check out GROUPON site for discounts on fitness centers and classes



Check out the city of Ottawa pools for inexpensive public swimming


Canoeing/ Kayaking/ Paddleboarding.  Rideau Canal, Dows Lake, Petrie Island

  • Canoe/Kayak/Paddleboat on Dow’s Lake

June to September

Most rentals under $20

  • Paddleboard on Rideau River

Starts May 11

Rent ($15/hr), Yoga ($30), 24hr rental ($40) and lessons ($40)

Kid and dog-friendly!


OSSC (Ottawa sport and social club)

  1. Indoor and outdoor sports teams at levels from beginner and up
  2. Adult leagues. Price depending on the sport
  3. Includes badminton, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, floor hockey, football, soccer, softball and more



Yoga on Parliament Hill, Wednesdays 12-1 pm May 9-August 29th (weather permitting)- bring water and mat.

Various free running groups throughout the city -The Running Room, Mountain Equipment Co-op and others. 

Check out free outdoor equipment around the city such as Street Workout Park – New Edinburgh Park (various bars and abs bench)


Various free or low-cost online fitness videos or applications

  • Fitness or activity trackers such as ‘MyFitnessPal’ or ‘Strava’
  • Johnson and Johnson Official 7 minute workout


Landsdowne farmers market – Free (unless you buy something)

  • Starts May 6th, Sundays from 9am-3pm
  • Great place to walk around, get some organic foods, support local merchants


Biking on the Capital’s pathways and beyond.  Check out the NCC for great biking area suggestions and maps

  • Ottawa river pathway
  • Rideau canal western pathway


Hiking, walking or running

Gatineau Park:

  • Pink Lake
  • King Mountain


Ottawa Greenbelt:

  • Mer Bleue Bog
  • Pine Grove trail
  • Greens Creek
  • Shirleys Bay
  • Stoney swamp
  • Pinhey Forest


For seniors (65+):

Free Better Strength, Better Balance program at various community centers throughout Ottawa.  Call Ottawa public health 613-580-6744 or go online to register:


Heart Wise Exercise- list of Free or low-cost resources in Ottawa

Web:, select Location and then ‘find location’.  Can filter by program type, cost and languages offered.


Champlain LHIN- List of Free classes for seniors in the community:




The information and material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.

HP Blog


Hours of Operation

Walk-in Clinic
100 Marie Curie, Ottawa

Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 2 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 2PM

Booking instructions:

Please call the clinic at 613-564-3950 to schedule a same day telephone appointment with a walk-in clinic physician.  If after the telephone consultation an in-person visit is required, patients will be booked accordingly.


300-100 Marie Curie Pvt
Ottawa, ON
K1N 6N5

Tel: 613-564-3950

Fax: 613-564-6627

After Hours Access to Care

Patients registered with a family doctor at UOHS

In case of emergency, always dial 911. THAS connects you to a nurse who can provide medical advice, or, if appropriate, provide access to a family health team doctor or suggest that you go to emergency.


Patients not registered with a family doctor at UOHS – Ontario residents

In case of emergency, always dial 911. Telehealth Ontario is a free service that allows Ontario residents to speak to a Registered Nurse with their medical questions any time of the day or night. This could be when you're sick or injured but aren't sure if you need to see a doctor or can treat the situation at home.


Patients not registered with a family doctor at UOHS – Quebec residents

In case of emergency, always dial 911. Info-Santé 8-1-1  is a free and confidential telephone consultation service that puts you in contact with a nurse in case of a non-urgent health issue.

Info-Santé 811

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