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More Active

More Active

More Active

If the first thing you think about when you mention activity is going to the gym or having a run, then you need to start by changing your mindset. Just being more active in our daily lives can have an amazing impact on our health and wellbeing. It can:

  • reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes
  • release stress, leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed
  • make you feel like you have more energy, making daily tasks easier
  • help you sleep better.

We can all be more active and we can build more activity into our day. Whether it's walking to the shop rather than going in the car, doing more vigorous gardening or taking up a new hobby like dancing - the important thing is that we move more.

Whatever our age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life. However, if you have a health condition and want to start being more active, you should get in touch with your GP first for advice on what the best exercises are for you.

Health benefits

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

up to a 35% lower risk...

up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke 

up to a 50%...

up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes 

up to a 50% lower risk...

up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer 

up to a 20% lower..

up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer

a 30% lower risk of...

a 30% lower risk of early death 

up to an 83% lower risk...

up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis

up to a 68% lower risk...

up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture 

a 30% lower risk of falls...

a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults) 

up to a 30% lower risk of depression...

up to a 30% lower risk of depression 

up to a 30% lower...

up to a 30% lower risk of dementia 

What counts?

To stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.

For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. This level of effort is called moderate intensity activity. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but you can't sing the words to a song.

If your activity requires you to work even harder, it is called vigorous intensity activity. There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. You can tell when it’s vigorous activity because you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.

For most of us, daily chores such as shopping or housework don't count towards your activity target. This is because your body doesn't work hard enough to get your heart rate up.

Click on the links below for ideas on building more activity into your life:

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