Physical activity and exercise is good for our bodies and minds. It not only helps us stay healthier and more independent for longer, but can also help reduce the risk of developing major long term conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It also boosts our self-esteem, mental wellbeing, energy levels and sleep quality, along with lowering the risk of stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
Adults need to be active for at least 150 minutes every week and this can be in moderate intensity bouts as short as 10 to 30 minutes. Being active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym, there are many ways to include physical activity into your daily routine, such as brisk walking or mowing the lawn, it's just important to avoid extended inactive periods, where possible.
Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, even though it's simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. Walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier and as little as 10 minutes a day, counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
We're lucky to have so much beautiful countryside on our doorstep in Herefordshire, with over 2,000 miles of footpaths to explore, including...
- 15 circular, signposted walking routes, ranging from 2 to 10 miles. Download a free route map from Herefordshire Council's website.
- 12 circular walking routes, ranging from 3 to 7 miles (although there's also a 43 mile route too!). Find route guides on the Visit Herefordshire website.
Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire run a number of campaigns to help people become more active across the two counties. They also have a very useful activity finder to help you find different sports or activities in your area.
Choose How You Move has a range of information on local walking routes / led walks, cycle routes / lessons, park and share, park and cycle, rail and cycle and much more.
Halo has a number of leisure centres and swimming pools across Herefordshire and offer a range of different classes and activities for all ages.
Take a look at the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) physical activity leaflet...
Better Health offer information and advice to help you kickstart your journey to improved health, whether you want to eat healthier and lose weight, be more active, stop smoking or drink less. There's also a range of apps available, along with the How Are You quiz, which can help point you in the right direction.
The NHS provide a range of information to help you get more active, including exercise tips and fitness guides.
Find local groups and services