Get active


Shake off the winter cobwebs, reach for your trainers and head out of the house. Better weather means it’s now easier to get outside and get active – so what are you waiting for?

Physical activity is good for physical and mental emotional health. It helps improve sleep, maintains healthy weight, manages stress and improves our quality of life,

Getting active also reduces your chance of developing the following conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes by 40%
  • Heart disease by 35%
  • Falls, depression and dementia by 30%
  • Joint and back pain by 25%
  • Colon and breast cancer by 20%

Many of us now spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying down. Whether it’s watching TV, using a computer or sitting in the car.

This has several unwelcome effects on our health as sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism.

This in turn affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Remember than any exercise is better than nothing and it’s never too able to start. So why not start small and build up gradually – even just 10 minutes can provide benefits.

Whenever possible try to break up sitting down with short bursts of activity every half an hour.

This could be having a ‘walk break’ when getting up to make a drink, or standing up when on the phone. You can also try some chair based exercises at your desk.

To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do:

At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.


75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.


A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week. For example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

Here’s a few easy ideas to start you on your way to some everyday exercise:

  • Go for a walk
  • Try a Couch to 5k running app
  • Do some gardening – digging and lawn mowing effectively burn calories
  • Get out your dusters and do some vigorous housework
  • Take the stairs or walk up escalators instead of using the lift
  • Stand up on the bus or train and get off a stop earlier if possible
  • Make a splash and take up swimming or water aerobics

Why not get some more sporty ideas at


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