We tend to rely on cars and public transport to move from place to place, however making active travel choices can be an easy way to fit activity into your day. It can take longer and may not always be possible, but walking or cycling instead of driving or taking public transport is good for your health, good for the environment and saves you money.
- Park on the furthest side of the car park, or a couple of blocks away from your destination, and walk to and from the car.
- Try getting off the bus a stop early and walk fast the rest of the way home.
- Carry your groceries home – carrying heavy bags is great for your arms.
- Walk or cycle to school or to the shop instead of driving.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift or walk up the escalator to get your heart pumping.
- Walk to a friend’s house instead of chatting on the phone or online, or arrange to meet them in the park.
- Go for a walk before or after dinner, instead of sitting around.
Activities to get you going and have fun
Walking is a great way to de-stress. It does not have to be something you do alone- you can do it with friends too. Find walks in your area or create your own.
Dancing is a really fun way of burning energy – all you need is a great tune. Regular dancing is great for losing weight, maintaining strong bones, improving posture and muscle strength, increasing balance and co-ordination and beating stress.
Get on your bike!
Cycle round your local park or try an organised bike ride with friends and family.
Whether it is a regular splash around with family or friends or swimming lengths, swimming is a fun way to get active
A fun way to be active! A regular trip the bowling alley with friends or family is a great way of getting up and about and beginning to build more exercise into your life.
Join the kids
Think about the sports you enjoy watching on TV and give them a try- a game of Ping-Pong or badminton
- Adults need to be active for at least 150 minutes each week. Try to get your heart beating faster, and your lungs working a bit harder for at least 10 minutes at a time.
- Children aged five to 16 need to be active for at least 60 minutes each day.
- Children under five need three hours of activity a day.
Many of us are not too keen on the idea of exercise and most people do not get the amount of activity they need to stay healthy. Sitting down for hours (at work, watching TV or playing computer games) can also increase the risk of poor health.
Building activity into your day keeps your heart healthy, reduces your risk of serious illness and strengthens muscles and bones. It can also be a great way of reducing your stress levels and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down.
However, being active is all about having fun. If we do not enjoy it, we will not keep it up and we all deserve to spend some time doing something we enjoy.
By introducing activity into your daily lifestyle, you feel stronger, fitter, energetic and more confident and can even get a great sense of achievement if you decide to learn something new (such as a dance or new sport).
Regular exercise and physical activity keeps bones healthy; encourages muscle strength and flexibility; and can prevent weight-gain which often leads to cancer, type2 diabetes and heart disease
Whatever activity you opt for, if you have a serious medical condition, long-standing illness, or disability, remember to consult your GP before you start!