Overview

Whether you’d like to try something completely different, or do more of the active things you’re already enjoying, the step-by-step guide can help you to reach your recommended 150 minutes of active minutes per week.

You can include physical activity with things you’re already doing in your daily routine. We have some handy hints to help you be more active at home, work or study; in your free time or while you’re travelling. 

We also deliver a range of activities to support you in being more active.

Benefits of physical activity

Physical activity is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that

  • being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life.
  • People who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
  • Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression and dementia.

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the health benefits of being physically active.

Research has shown that people who regularly take part in physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke 
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes 
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer 
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer 
  • a 30% lower risk of early death 
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis 
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture 
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults) 
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression 
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

Keep active and healthy in your free time

Your free time is there for things you really like doing, so are there ways for you incorporate physical activity into the activities you’re already interested in?

For example:

  • Fit in some bodyweight exercises while the TV ads play or whilst your games are loading
  • Walk to meet your friends rather than drive or take public transport
  • Jog whilst listening to your favourite podcast

You could also switch up how you use your free time. You could use your time to take part in a structured sport or exercise and let the coach or instructor take care of all of the planning.

You can just show up and enjoy it (and meet some new people whilst you’re there!). You can even find sessions for complete beginners to help build skills and/or initial fitness.

If you’d prefer to go it alone or with your own family and friends, you could find places where you can go to be active.

Gyms, swimming pools, and sports centres are the obvious choice but there are also walking routes, cycle routes, parks, skate parks and many others.

Keep active and healthy at home

It's convenient and comfortable to move more at home. 

You can add movement to your day in the privacy of your own home. No need to go out or face bad weather, or feel embarrassed, you could even keep active in your pyjamas!

Adding music when you’re doing your household chores is a great way to pick up your heart rate. Boogying to your favourite tunes will increase the intensity of an activity you’re already doing and help the time pass by a bit quicker.

Making mini active challenges that the whole family can do is a way you can keep each other motivated to stay active at home. You could do a daily stair walking challenge, challenge the kids to a dance-off or do a sit to stand challenge before meal times.

Not only will these activities help you to keep active, but they are a great way to spend some quality time together as a family every day.

Across the internet and even some TV networks there are free instructional videos to guide you through activities in your home. With so many available, you can choose the type of fitness instruction the length of time you want to exercise for without even leaving the house.

Keep active and healthy at work or when studying

Adding activity to places you go to everyday is a great way to form active habits, get headspace, and refresh your energy levels.

Many of us spend a large portion of the day sitting, but spending less time sitting down is one of the best things we can do for our health.

There are a number of organised sessions that take place before the working day, during the lunch break or after work, many taking place in facilities that have changing and shower provisions so you can get back to work easily.

If time is still a factor though, here are some ways you can fit in some more active minutes with activities you may already be doing:

  • Take the stairs rather than the lift to another floor
  • Use toilets and printers that are further away or on another floor
  • Try standing or walking meetings with your colleagues
  • Complete a chair based workout that you could do whilst at your desk or when taking a break from driving

Keep active and healthy when travelling

Cycling, walking, scootering, using public transport all help to fit active time in while getting you to your destination.

Getting from A to B is your priority, but is active travel something that you could incorporate with your new routine?

 Rather than putting up with traffic, petrol costs and trying to find parking, remove all of those stresses and try an alternative travel method.

Set yourself a daily or weekly goal (in steps or minutes walking) to work towards, building up your active travel minutes gradually by walking or cycling more.

summer guide