This page will help you think of enjoyable and convenient ways to be active and give you ideas on how to stay motivated.

Why do I want to be physically active?

Being physically active is great for us. As well as lots of other benefits it will help us to feel good, reduce our chances of getting some diseases and enables us to keep doing the things we enjoy especially as we get older. It’s a big part of helping us to live a healthier and longer life.

How much should I be doing?

Ideally, we should aim for at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week. If you aren’t there yet you shouldn’t get too disheartened, it can be a goal for you to work towards. It’s important for everyone to understand that every minute counts and try and minimise time sitting around doing nothing. It’s never too late to start.

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Some ideas to help you get started

Being more active doesn’t just mean doing exercise. Essentially physical activity is doing anything which moves your muscles more than when they are resting. If we can move enough to make our heart beat faster, breathe a little faster and we get a little warmer this is our moderate intensity activity. Move more energetically so it’s hard to talk more than just saying a few words and this is vigorous activity.

Choosing what to do is all based around you. Whatever you do must be enjoyable, convenient and achievable for you.

Enjoyable

Think about things that make you happy, if they aren’t too active can you make them more active. If we do something we enjoy we are more likely to stick at it.

Click here to see lots of enjoyable activity ideas

Convenient

We are more likely to keep doing an activity when it’s convenient for us. A convenient activity reduces the excuses we can give ourselves to miss a day.

Here are some considerations which can make your activity convenient

Time – Choose something you realistically make time for or make something you already do more active.

Active travel – Is a convenient way of getting somewhere, having some enjoyment, saving money, improving your fitness and health. The government has released a fix your bike voucher scheme to get more people cycling. Click here to find out how you can get your £50 voucher.

Location – Will travelling to do something make you less likely to do the activity? If it will can you do a similar activity closer to where you live or work?

Cost – Can you afford to do the activity regularly? If cost is a barrier there are plenty of free opportunities to be active.  Click here to see Dudley’s Physical Activity offer in the parks.

Weather – There is a good chance it’ll rain at some point and if you are doing outdoor activity you’ll get wet. If you don’t want to do activity in the rain can you do a version of it or an alternative indoors? If you don’t mind the rain too much, you could get some waterproof clothing.

Achievable

Choosing achievable activities with realistic goals helps us to remain motivated. It’s important not to run before we can walk.

There are many good resources to help you through your activity journey. Click here to find out more.

Staying motivated

Staying motivated can be hard, but there are a few simple tips which will help you.

  • Record or remember your reasons for starting. Look back to see if you are reaching or have reached your goals.
  • Do it because it makes you feel good, don’t just do something for other people’s benefit.
  • Focus on am I progressing and remember your improvements. Avoid the comparison to others.
  • Try using an activity tracker, these can help you track your progress from when you started out on your activity journey. You will be able to see the changes in your fitness and they might even show improvements in your resting heart rate and sleep.
  • Keep a diary. You can see what you could do when you started and what your progressions are like. You can also note other things like how the activity has helped your day. It might have made you happier or concentrate better.
  • If you have taken up a sport and are finding it hard to master a skill try and get some expert advice. The sports governing board will have ideas to help. Click here to find your sport.
  • In need of extra support? – The Let’s Get Healthy Dudley Team can support you to make changes to your health and wellbeing, including motivational support to help you get more active and work towards your goals. Various FREE support is available including one to one telephone support, online courses and more. Get in touch with the team on 01384 732402 to find out more.

If you are concerned about being active with medical conditions the Physical Activity and Starting to Get Active Factsheet could help.