Exercise has many benefits including improved sleep, enhanced mood, lowering risk of certain cancers and increased productivity.

You can increase the amount of exercise you do by finding activities you enjoy and mix it up.

The World Health Organisation recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity throughout the week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Alongside this, muscle strengthening activities are
recommended at least twice a week.

How can you meet this? Find activities that you enjoy and mix it up for variety. Use the following for inspiration.

Muscle Strengthening Exercises

New guidance recommends 8–12 repetitions of muscle strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups twice a week. Muscle strengthening activities involve using your body weight or working against
a resistance such as a resistance band, free weights or kettle bells. Body weight activities may include specific exercises such as squats or lunges but you can also include muscle strengthening activities in your daily routine, for example, taking the stairs or walking uphill.

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include:

  • lifting weights
  • working with resistance bands
  • heavy gardening – digging and shovelling
  • climbing stairs
  • hill walking
  • cycling
  • dance
  • push-ups, sit-ups and squats
  • yoga

What are the benefits of strength and flexibility activities?
Muscle-strengthening activities help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks and slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss associated with ageing. Such exercises can also help reduce your chances of falling.
Health professionals believe that improving your flexibility can improve your posture, reduce aches and pains and lower your risk of injury. Good flexibility can also help you to continue carrying out everyday tasks.