What should you know about physical activity?

Doing regular physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it can have a number of benefits for your health. For example, it reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and 'thinning' of the bones (osteoporosis). Regular physical activity also helps to control weight and may help to ease stress.

Ideally, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on at least five days of the week. You should also aim to do a minimum of two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week, although these should not be on consecutive days.

Physical activity is any activity that you may do that helps to improve or maintain your physical fitness as well as your health in general.

It can include:

  • Everyday activities. For example, walking or cycling to work or school, doing housework, gardening, DIY around the house, or any active or manual work that you may do as part of your job.
  • Active recreational activities. This includes activities such as dancing, active play amongst children, or walking or cycling for recreation.
  • Sport. For example, exercise and fitness training at a gym or during an exercise class, swimming and competitive sports such as football, rugby and tennis, etc.
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