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Week One: Get Active Your Way!

Week ONE: Get ACTIVE your way

Why be active?

Regularly being active can have many positive impacts on our lives, including: –

  • It can help manage or improve our mental health
  • It’s great for our physical health and can reduce our risk of diseases
  • Maintain our health and stamina as we age
  • Improve our sleep
  • Manage or improve symptoms related to long-term health conditions
  • Give us higher levels of energy to enjoy life
  • and if you find the right types of activities that suit you and your lifestyle, it can be a really enjoyable and rewarding way to spend your time either alone or with friends and family

For more information on the benefits of physical activity, visit the NHS website.

To view an interesting and informative short film on the subject, watch ‘23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?’ on YouTube.

Why be active?
Not the sporty type?

Not the sporty type?

Being active isn’t about being sporty.  It’s just about moving more at a level that gives your body and heart a bit of a workout.  If a session at the gym or participating in team sports is what floats your boat, then great.  If not, then don’t panic!  There are a wide variety of ways to be active that suit all personalities, interests, abilities and budgets.

Whether its exploring some of Norfolk’s beautiful natural landscapes by foot, bike or canoe, utilising some of the best sporting facilities in the country, getting involved in some active volunteering, sprucing up your green spaces with a bit of gardening or getting your groove on with a boogie in your kitchen, the important thing is just to get, and keep, active.  Some activity is good and more is better!

Visit Active Norfolk’s NEW website for information and ideas on being active outdoors, at home, at work and with children.  There are also tailored sections for those living with disabilities or health conditions.

What type of activity might be right for you?

If you’re looking to become more active, it’s worth having a think about the types of activities or sports that you would enjoy doing and what motivates you.  Below are some things you might want to consider:

Are you looking for opportunities to socialise?

If you enjoy the social aspect of being active then you might want to consider things such as active volunteering, exercise classes, conservation work parties, team sports or walking or cycling groups.

What type of activity might be right for you?
Would you benefit from a bit of ‘me time’?

Would you benefit from a bit of ‘me time’?

Sometimes we can all benefit from a bit of solitude to unplug, destress and reenergise. Activities like heading out alone for a walk, run or cycle ride can provide us with some much-needed space for our wellbeing.

Do you like spending time in nature?

Acknowledged for its positive impacts on mental health, many people are recognising the importance of having some time away from technology and built up environments to slow down and reconnect with the natural world around them.  For more information on making the most of the UK’s natural spaces for your mental health and wellbeing, download the Thriving with Nature guide produced by the Mental Health Foundation.

Are you managing a long-term health condition?

One in four people in England live with a long-term health condition (LTC).  Despite evidence that being active can help manage the impact and severity of some symptoms, people with LTCs are twice as likely to be inactive.  If you are managing a LTC, finding the appropriate physical activity for you and your own personal circumstance is key.  We are Undefeatable is a movement supporting people with a range of LTCs that was developed by 15 leading health and social care charities.  It provides support and encouragement to find ways to be active that work with each person’s conditions, not against them.

Are you looking for low cost options?

Cost need not be a barrier to being active.  There are lots of enjoyable ways to be active which have no, or very little, cost attached to them including walking, running, online workouts, dancing, gardening, skipping and park games.

Are you managing a long-term health condition?
Are you concerned about the environment?

Are you concerned about the environment?

Concerns over global warming are causing many people to make some changes to the way they live their lives.  Adjusting the way you travel, for some of your journeys, could be one way you could build physical activity into your day and do your bit for the planet.  This week is Bike Week! Find out more about how cycling can benefit your health and wellbeing by clicking here.  We will be covering more information on this topic in Week 3 of the challenge, so be sure to come back for some more tips and advice on travelling actively.

Are you driven by a challenge?

Are you competitive or do you just like to challenge yourself?  Personal goal setting can be a great way to get and stay motivated.  Whether you are looking to hit a target weight, raise a certain amount of money for charity, cover a certain distance over a specified time period or train for an event, a goal can really help focus the mind when you might overwise be tempted to spend the night on the couch.  And, if you meet your target why not treat yourself?  Little rewards can give you something to aim for and help keep you motivated.

Further Signposting

One You – Free tips, tools and support including the One You Quiz and Couch to 5K and Active 10 apps.

Voluntary Norfolk – Explore active volunteering opportunities in the county.

EXi – A free, evidence-based app which analyses your health, current fitness level, disease status and resting heart rate, and produces a personalised 12-week physical activity plan that is tailored to your needs.

MapMyWalk / Run – A free app that allows you to see time, distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned.

My Virtual Mission – Create virtual fitness challenges by mapping out a long-distance mission, say running across America, and then every mile you exercise counts towards your goal. Also works for cycling, walking and swimming as well as running. If you want, you can choose to raise funds for your favourite charity or cause along the way too.

Active Suffolk – The Active Partnership for Suffolk.  A non-profit organisation, committed to increasing the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity

Please can we also add the Wellbeing Service as another organisation to signpost to in the ‘Get Active for Mental Health’ content.  Info below.

The Wellbeing Service – Offers help and support to improve wellbeing and manage stress, low mood and anxiety.