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Getting Started

  • 3 steps to boost your activity

    Our 3 step guide is an effective way of boosting physical activity. Whether you want to try something completely new, or want to do more of the active things you already do, this guide is a simple, honest and effective approach to being active. Follow the tips in each section Home, At Work/Study, Travel and Free-Time to find options for you.

  • Step 1:

    Count activity you already do. Every movement counts

    Physical activity is like breathing, it’s hard to get through the day without doing it. Every move we make counts as active. We are active when we are in our homes, at work/school, while travelling and in our free time. But there are many activities we underestimate...

    • Playing games with family members can be more intense than a gym session
    • Climbing stairs burns more energy per minute than jogging
    • Gardening, walking and even hobbies all provide a chance to be active while taking part in a special interest
    • Dancing in the toon or by putting music on about the house gets your breathing and heart-rate up too

    There are tonnes of examples like this that show we all are active. Once you count the things you already do, your choice of what else you could do is clearer.

  • Step 2:

    What choices could you add

    When all movement counts, the number of options open to you increases. It’s not just sports and activity classes that you can add, lifestyle activities and creative ways to get active are also options. Look at options available to you at Home, Work/Study, Travel and in your Free-Time and think about which options you could add.

    • Putting music on while you are doing household chores
    • Using park and rides to help get active travel time in
    • Sessions like cardio-tennis don’t work like sports, instead it’s a fun fitness session where you focus on techniques for hitting the ball and less so on where it lands.
    • Taking active breaks at work such as standing up to stretch
    • Interesting ideas like 10 minute shake ups, treasure hunts, ghost walks, and more…

    Remember this stage is about finding options you could fit in, the next step will help you make a smart choice out of all of your options.

  • Indoor

    Step 3:

    What would you like to do? Why?

    It is easy to fall into the trap of doing activities we “should” do. We forget that a lot of different activities count and that there are reasons to take part beyond health and fitness. If you find yourself counting down the clock until you can finish your activity, it’s probably not the one for you. Activity doesn’t have to be a chore. Try out new things and different ways to be active and stick to ones that feel good.

    It could be the headspace you feel on a nice run, feeling refreshed by interrupting sitting at work, enjoying playing table tennis or a musical instrument, the banter and community you become part of, being in the fresh air or nature, the relaxation in yoga, or it could be something that is just about you.

    Think through the options you feel you could add and pick the one(s) that are most appealing to you. This is the most important step to finding an activity just for you.

Enjoy your free time more by taking part in something you actually want to do.

It can be easy to waste free-time with habits we don’t really enjoy. Watching repeats on TV or lazing around on the internet distract from other options that are more enjoyable.

In a structured sport or exercise session the coach or instructor takes care of all of the planning. You can just show up and enjoy the session (and the banter). You can even find sessions for complete beginners to help build skills and/or initial fitness.

Or you could take a D.I.Y. approach and find places where you can go to be active by yourself (or in a group you make e.g. family/friends). Gyms and sports centres are the obvious choice but don’t forget about walking trails, cycle routes, parks and smaller green spaces, skate parks and many others.

Going out in the evening adds steps to your day, even if you end up at the cinema or out for a meal. Hobbies and interest groups also help particularly things that get you moving like playing music or doing arts and crafts.

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