Movement and exercise - How much we move counts….

When it comes to movement and exercise, every little bit counts, so don't underestimate the power of even the smallest activities. Whether you're getting up for a quick stretch or trying seated exercises, any movement is better than staying sedentary. The key is finding what works best for you.

The benefits of exercising and moving

People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stressclinical depressiondementia and Alzheimer's disease.

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have lower risk of:

What counts as exercise and physical activity? 

To stay healthy, the UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines, on GOV.UK, state that adults should try to be active every day and aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week, through a variety of activities.

For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking for health or cycling instead of using the car to get around. However, the more you do, the better, and taking part in activities such as sports and exercise will make you even healthier.

For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. This level of effort is called moderate intensity activity. If you're working at a moderate intensity you should still be able to talk but you won't be able to sing the words to a song.

An activity where you have to work even harder is called vigorous intensity activity. There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. You can tell when it's vigorous activity because you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Why we should sit less

There is increasing evidence that, unless you are a wheelchair user, sitting down too much can be a risk to your health.

Many adults in the UK spend around 9 hours a day sitting. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train but does not include sleeping.

Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Lets get moving!

There are lots of ways in which we can move in the community, out in nature in a leisure centre or at home. 

In the Community

North Somerset

Age UK Somerset

Age UK Somerset is an independent local charity who work in the local community to deliver services and activities for those aged 75 and over in Somerset and North Somerset.  

Go to the Age UK Somerset website for more information 

Bristol and South Gloucestershire

Information Coming Soon! 

Out in Nature

North Somerset

Better Health Walks

The Health Walks scheme welcomes over 300 regular walkers a week in and around North Somerset. Theyhave Health Walks in Cheddar and Churchill; Clevedon, Flax Bourton, Long Ashton, Nailsea, Portishead, Weston-super-Mare, Winscombe, Long Ashton and Yatton. Their walks are led by volunteers who welcome you to join their groups.…

Go to the Better Health North Somerset Website for find Health Walks in your area.

North Somerset Walking Routes

Enjoy walking across the countryside of North Somerset, with many routes for you to explore. 

Go to the Visit Somerset website to discover the routes available 

Bristol and South Gloucestershire

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks Bristol

Ramblers are welcoming groups all over Bristol, so feel free to join us for a walk and a chat. Some walks start from the same location each time, while other groups venture further out and take a bus to reach the starting point.

Please check the walks listed below, to see which ones sound right for you, and whether you need to book.

If you’ve not already signed up as a member of RWW Bristol, please click on the Sign Up for Free. Ramblers Wellbeing Walks Bristol includes:

  • Bristol Amblers,
  • Greenway Strollers,
  • Henbury Health Walking Group,
  • Knowle West Healthy Walking Group,
  • Lockleaze Strollers,
  • St George Strollers,
  • South Bristol Stroll and Chat,
  • The Downs Wellbeing Walks Group
  • Westbury Walkers.

Go to the Ramblers website for more information. 

Get Active - Active 10

It's the perfect time to get active. No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still.

The Active 10 app anonymously records every minute of walking you do. Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

The app:

  • tracks your steps
  • helps you set goals
  • shows you your achievements
  • gives you tips to boost your activity

Did you know walking briskly, even for 1 minute, counts as exercise? What are you waiting for - take your first steps today!

Go to the Get Active Better Health App for more information

In a Leisure Centre

North Somerset

Steps to Get Active groups delivered by Hutton Moor Leisure Centre 

  • Steps to Get Active: Fibromyalgia (Thursdays, 10.30 -11.30am and Saturdays, 11.15-12 noon)
  • Steps to Get Active: Move More, Feel Better (Thursdays, 6-7pm – from 22 February 2024).  For adults with mild to moderate symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Steps to Get Active: Mental Health (closed session for AWP clients; speak to your Care Coordinator for more information)

Go to the Better Health North Somerset website for more information

Good Boost Classes at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre

Lead a happier, healthier life with our Good Boost classes and Arthritis Action coffee mornings at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre. These sessions will provide you with the information and exercises to help reduce your muscular and joint pain, improving your physical and mental health, enhancing the quality of your life.

Go to the Hutton More Leisure Centre for more information

Bristol and South Gloucestershire

More information coming soon! 

Home exercise and movement

NHS Fitness studio online

Try the NHS instructor-led exercise videos, including aerobic exercises, strength and resistance training, Pilates and yoga.

Go to the NHS Fitness Studio website to watch the exercise videos

Get Active - Couch to 5K

It's the perfect time to get active. No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still. 

A running programme for absolute beginners, Couch to 5K has helped millions of people like you start running.

The app:

  • has a choice of 5 trainers to motivate you
  • works with your music player
  • tracks your runs
  • connects you with other Couch to 5K runners

Couch to 5K can be completed in as little as 9 weeks, or longer if you want to go at your own pace.

Go to the Get Active Better Health App for more information

Are you looking for more inspiration?

Looking to improve your fitness and wellbeing? The NHS website offers a wealth of information on exercise guidelines tailored for adults, older adults, children, young people, and wheelchair users. Discover a variety of workouts designed to suit different needs, from balance and sitting exercises to specialized routines for sciatica relief. Whether you're aiming to stay active, manage a health condition, or simply feel better in your day-to-day life, the NHS has the resources to help you get started.