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Physical Activity – the key facts


Why should I be active?
Building activity into your day will give you more energy, strengthen your joints and improve your mental health. Evidence shows that active people have:

• A longer life
• Less risk of developing many diseases including coronary heart diesease, type II diabetes and stress
• The ability to maintain a healthy weight • Increased social opportunities
• More energy to cope with daily routines • Less stress and anxiety

What does being physically active mean?
Physical activity doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout but could involve everyday activities such as walking, gardening and dancing. Any activity that makes you breathe harder than normal can be an exercise. The amount of activity the it is recommended we do is shown in the list below:

Babies / toddlers (not walking)
Encourage floor based play and safe water based activity

Pre-school (capable of walking)
At least 180 minutes of activity a day

5-18 years old
At least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous intensity activity

19 and over
Any one of the following:
• 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week
• 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity activity
• Combinations of moderate and vigorous activity

The activity can be done in bouts of 10 minutes and built up during the day/week.

Top tips for getting active and staying active

• If you’re not very active at the moment you should gradually try to build up the duration and intensity of your activity.
• Think what your main reasons for becoming active are, and remind yourself of these regularly
• Choose activities that you enjoy doing
• Think what might stop you from getting active and how you can overcome these barriers
• Try doing an activity with other people, and share your goals with others
• Record any improvements you notice (weight loss, lower blood pressure, more energy)