Staying independent

Staying active

"I'd like to know how to keep physically fit and active in my local community."

Tips to get active

It’s easy to ignore exercise when you are busy, stuck in the same routine or unsure where to start. We have some handy tips to help you think about how to make getting active part of your everyday living and include it in family activities too.

1. Don’t stay in one position for too long

Make sure you get up and move about regularly with these handy tips:

  • Set a timer to remind yourself to get up at regular intervals
  • If you are watching TV, make a point of moving or stretching each time a programme finishes, or in the ad breaks
  • While you are boiling the kettle, try a light activity such as putting your dishes away or having a quick wander around the garden
  • If you are working at a desk, try standing up instead of sitting. This will strengthen your legs and back.

2. Find new ways to travel

Try adjusting the way you travel to work or the local shops.

  • Before grabbing your car keys to go somewhere, think about walking or cycling there instead
  • If you are travelling on the bus, consider getting off one stop early to walk the rest of the way
  • If you drive somewhere, don’t park as close as you normally would - a short walk to your destination counts!

3. Try a new hobby

There are lots of hobbies that require you to get more active, and most of the time you won’t even notice as you’ll be having too much fun. Here are some examples:

  • gardening is a great way to start moving about and using your muscles
  • a craft project like sewing a new pair of curtains will get you moving your arms and legs. If you fit the curtains yourself, you’ll be stretching and lifting too
  • if you take up something like birdwatching or golf, you’ll do plenty of walking
  • enjoy sports? You could join a local football, netball or hockey team - or you could just challenge your family to a game in the local park.

4. Find an activity you’ll enjoy

You’ll find it much easier to get active if you enjoy what you are doing - and you are less likely to quit!

  • Take your dog for daily walks on the beach or local woods - you could even sign up for agility classes!
  • Check out the exercises classes at your local leisure centre or gym.

5. Join up with others

Getting active is more fun when you buddy up with others, such as family or friends.

  • Ask a friend to take a daily stroll with you - and enjoy a cuppa afterwards!
  • If you are naturally competitive, set a challenge for you and your family, such as who can do the most steps in a day.
  • Nip down to the local park for a game of frisbee or football
  • Introduce new family activities, such as treasure hunts or fruit picking
  • See if your friends are already part of a local workout or dance class and ask if you can join them.

More tips are available on the NHS Better Health website.