Make activity a part of your life

Being active is about moving more, no matter how you do it.
Published 2 December 2018

How to become more active

Anything that gets you moving more will do great benefits for your health, mood and wellbeing. And remember all movement counts! Here are some proven tips for success:

Find something you'll like to do

Why? We can't say it enough - if you have fun being active, you'll do it more often. Consistency is key to creating a lifelong habit.

Winning move: Make a list of all of the physical activities you enjoy doing (for example, walking, swimming, gardening) and what you enjoy about them.

How: Pick one activity on the list and plan to do it one or more times this week.

Set reasonable and specific goals

Why? Setting goals helps you stay motivated - as long as they're not unrealistic. Studies show you're more likely to keep at something if you meet smaller goals along the way. Plus, research shows that tracking your activity and sticking to your goals can increase the amount of physical activity you do.

Winning move: Aim to be active in whatever way fits your life.

How: Write down what (I will do), when (I will do it), where (I will do it) and who (I will do it with). The more specific you can get the better! (“I’ll go for a walk with my dog after dinner every night" is more effective than “I’ll go for a walk".)

Find what moves you

How do I start?

If you're not used to doing regular activity, start small and build your way up. Walking is a great activity to build on. We recommend you get started with 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise four days a week and build up to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week.

What if the gym isn't my thing?

No problem! Walking your dog, going for a bike ride and being more active around the house all counts as movement. The important thing is finding something you enjoy and doing it regularly. So if heading to the gym is not your thing, that's (more than!) fine.

How will I find time?

We know how busy life can get, but it's time to start putting yourself first - at least sometimes. This includes finding time to make some type of physical activity fit into your lifestyle, even if it's just a few minutes here and there to begin with. A simple way to do that is by grabbing every opportunity you can to stand rather than sit, and making it your mission to take enough steps each day, using a combination of planned and incidental activity.

How will I know if I need to step it up?

Walking 10,000 steps per day is the recommended daily activity goal for a healthy adult. Here's a breakdown of step counts and what they mean.

Less than 5000 steps = Sedentary
5000 - 7499 steps = Low activity
7500 - 9999 steps = Somewhat active
More than 10,000 steps = Active
More than 12,500 steps = Very active