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Be active

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt

Step outside, go for a walk or run, cycle, play a game, garden, dance. Being active makes you feel good. Find an activity that you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness, and make it a part of your life.

Regular physical activity is linked with a greater sense of wellbeing and lowers rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Doing as little as 10 minutes of activity can improve mood. So although adults should aim to be active for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week, being active in bouts of 10 minutes or more is a great way to start – and if it helps you to feel good then why not give it a go.

Walking

Physical activity does not necessarily need to be particularly intense for feeling good. Slower-paced activities, like walking, can also have the benefit of enjoying your local surrounding and encouraging social interactions at the same time.

Walking can help to:

  • make you feel good
  • give you more energy
  • reduce stress and help you sleep better
  • keep your heart healthy and reduce blood pressure
  • help to manage your weight

Why walking is the perfect activity for health:

  • almost everyone can do it
  • you can do it anywhere and any time
  • it’s a chance to make new friends
  • it’s free and you don’t need special equipment
  • you can start slowly and build up gently
  • you can get out and about and enjoy your local surroundings
  • there are health walk schemes across Warwickshire that will welcome you – come rain or shine
  • the key thing to remember is that even if you only do a few extra minutes each day, it all adds up

Find out more about getting active

Local services

Research

There is a great deal of evidence about the benefits of physical activity as a way to improve wellbeing. Being active is thought to be beneficial to wellbeing by increasing:

  • your sense of self-efficacy (your belief that you can do it)
  • your self-esteem
  • your mood
  • your belief you can cope

Being active on a regular basis has been found to lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Physical activity can enhance psychological wellbeing by improving self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and by reducing levels of anxiety and fatigue.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that increasing physical activity improves cardiovascular fitness, strength and physical function. It can reduce aspects of cognitive decline and the risk of falling in older adults and can also reduce the risk of developing dementia.

An evaluation of nearly 200 older adults who had joined in an exercise programme found that 61% said their physical health had improved, and 66% said their mental health had improved due to the programme.