Keeping Fit and Getting Active

What are the benefits of keeping fit?

Keeping fit has many benefits:

  • health by reducing the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer
  • weight by helping you maintain or reach a healthy weight
  • strengthening muscles around your joints which help support them
  • raising energy levels letting you do more
  • stimulating brain activity allowing you to concentrate better
  • boosting self-confidence as you look and feel better
  • mood by reducing anxiety and depression
  • extending lifespan compared to an inactive person
  • sleep quality can be improved even if you have chronic insomnia

Should I do anything before I start?

If you are older or have any health conditions, weight issues or have been inactive for over a year it is important to see your doctor before you start doing a lot of exercise.

How do I start to keep fit?

It doesn't matter which activity you take up, the important thing is you start and that you enjoy it.

 See the NHS Choices information on Exercise: getting started for more advice.

How much exercise do I need to do?

If you are over 18 you should aim for 150 minutes a week. This is recommended by the British Heart Foundation to reduce your risk of heart disease.

How much will it cost?

Costs vary depending on your age, whether you are employed or unemployed and whether you pay as you go or have a membership. We run a Freedom Leisure card membership for various discounts and concessions.

What exercise can I do for free?

If you are worried about the cost of exercise, there are activities you can do for free such as long walks, jogging and cycling. The NHS Choices health and fitness website has various workouts you can do from home.

What is GP exercise referral?

An exercise referral from your doctor is when an exercise programme is recommended to improve a particular health condition. Contact your doctor in the first instance or see information on Fitness for Life - Exercise Referral.