Being physically active
An active lifestyle is important for keeping your heart healthy and can help you to maintain a healthy weight. Find out how active you should be and get ideas on activities you can get involved in.
If you are overweight or obese, you can lose weight using a combination of regular exercise and a calorie-controlled diet. Even if you are not overweight, it is a good idea to be physically active. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
The recommendation for adults is 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every day for at least five days a week.
To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
Examples of exercises that require moderate effort include:
- walking fast
- water aerobics
- riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
- doubles tennis
- pushing a lawn mower
Moderate-intensity activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk, but you can’t sing the words to a song
If you find it difficult to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, start at a level you feel comfortable with.
For example, do 5-10 minutes of light exercise a day and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your activity as your fitness level improves.