Staying active

Why is it important to stay active?

Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, can make you more alert and help you sleep better. During stressful times, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse.

That’s why it’s important to explore different ways of adding physical movement and activity to your day, and find some exercises that work best for you.

What kind of exercise should I do?

Exercise does not need to be particularly intense. Slower-paced activities, such as walking, have many benefits for health and wellbeing. Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Here are some things you can do:

  • Go for a walk or jog 
  • Go for a bicycle ride
  • Do some gardening
  • Play active games with your family.

Tips on staying active at home

It’s still possible to stay active even if you spend most of your time at home. The key thing is to make sure you’re not sitting all day. If watching TV, get up during every commercial (or periodically) and do a lap around your home or an active chore – do some laundry, do the dishes or take out the bins.

Here are some ideas on active things you can do within home:

  • Put some music on and walk briskly around the house or up and down the stairs for 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times per day.
  • Dance to your favourite music.
  • Do an exercise or strength training video.
  • Perform some yoga – deep breathing and mindfulness can also reduce anxiety.
  • Find ways to do simple muscle strengthening exercises around your house such as:
    • Squats or sit-to-stands from a sturdy chair
    • Push-ups against a wall, the kitchen counter or the floor
    • Lunges or single leg step-ups on stairs

Further resources

Our Making Connections from Home page includes a range of guides on staying active at home:

  • Gentle exercises
  • Home workouts
  • Yoga & Pilates
  • Dancing

To access these resources, click here.

You can also find out more about getting active here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/