Increasing physical exercise


Recommended activity levels for children and adults for general health, including simple ideas on building exercise into your day.

How much physical activity you should do depends on where you’re starting from. Recommended activity levels:

  • Adults: At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, or an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week (for example 2 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking), And  muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).  
  • Children: 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.
  • Targets can be achieved with 10-minute bursts of activity spread throughout the day.

If you haven't been doing much for a while, don't worry. Evidence shows that inactive people achieve more immediate benefits from resuming activity than those who are already fit.

Physical activity includes a range of movement, from competitive sport and exercise to active hobbies, walking, cycling or household activities, such as housework and DIY.

You don't have to do 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be made up of three 10-minute bursts of activity spread out through the day. Check out the Ten-minute workouts article for some inspiration.

This can include a lifestyle activity (e.g. walking to the shops or taking the dog out), a structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these.

Keeping Your Heart Healthy There's lots you can do to keep your heart healthy - whatever your age. Prevention really is better than cure. Find out how you can help your heart stay healthy. Heart Helpline: 0300 330 3311 For more information on keeping your heart healthy, a free service, Heart Matters

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updated 4 September 2018

HHFT Staff

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