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Staying Physically Active #whatsmynextstep

To help rebuild the fitness that many of us have lost during lockdown, why not try to build more activity into your day?

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week for adults. Adults should do some type of physical activity every day and any type of activity is good: in fact the more you do, the better.

Health and activity experts from York and North Yorkshire have put together the following ideas to help improve muscle tone, build core strength and improve balance.

Before starting any new activities or exercises, please remember:

  • To follow any medical advice you’ve been given
  • Do what you can and start slowly. It’s fine to push yourself a little, but don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable
  • Stop if you feel any pain or are lightheaded, and rest and stay hydrated
  • A little soreness after exercise is normal for the first day or two.
  • Here’s a great guide, from The Chartered Society Of Physiotherapy, to building activity into your daily routine: The Get Active

Here’s some inspiration to get you more active:

  • The NHS’s simple starter ideas to keep your muscles active:

Free Fitness Ideas

Home Workout Videos

Physical Activity Guidelines For Older Adults

  • Age UK have ideas for older people ranging from starting to be active through to helping someone else to be active:

Exercise from Age UK

  • The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s have a set of exercises especially for older people to help stay active at home:

A simple set of exercises designed especially for older people to help everyone stay active at home

  • Sport England have exercises for children or older adults or people with long-term mental or physical health conditions or a disability: 

Tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home

Two women do yoga on their floor at home

  • If you’ve been in hospital recently, here are some ideas to help you stay physically active, as well as for general activity:

Help to stay physically active after discharge from hospital

  • There are loads of great ideas from North Yorkshire Sport to make movement your mission at:

Ideas for older adults to stay active at home

Simple ideas to build fitness at home from Vicky at York Hospital

Stair Stepping
High Knees

For many of us, lockdown has meant spending less time being active or being outdoors. But now lockdowns lifting, let’s get more active outdoors and enjoy the benefits of fresh air or being in nature too.

Here are some ideas to help build your fitness and strength in the outdoors, which in turn can help your wellbeing and overall health:

  1. Go for a walk (or jog) in the park or woods, or along the riverbank or city streets
  2. Enjoy an after-dinner walk
  3. Take grandchildren or children on a treasure hunt
  4. Walk or trek, with a healthy picnic to finish
  5. Climb up a hill
  6. Cycle to work, or for fun
  7. Play a game in the park: frisbee, rounders or football
  8. Work out at an outdoor gym, where equipment can include bikes, cross-trainers and weight apparatus.

More ideas here with the British Heart Foundation's Nine Ways to Get Active Outdoors.


Walking and cycling around York:

Lots of information and ideas for walking and cycling here: Walking & Cycling | Live Well York 

Get active in the great outdoors with these country walks around York, and these Walking Maps from iTravel York.

Walk the city walls

Walks in the city centre: from a Selfie Trail to a York Cat Trail to a Chocolate Trail!  #LoveWalking - Love Walking in York | Visit York

Wildlife walks in York: Wildlife Walks – iTravel York

20 tips, from Living Streets, to help you fit 20 minutes of walking into your day. 

Why not try running some of York’s best views and settings? York Knavesmire Harriers have put together two routes (5km & 10km).

Did you know it takes less than an hour a day to walk 1000 miles in 12 months? Doing so dramatically boosts your immunity and cuts your risk of diabetes, heart attack, obesity, stroke and depression.

Being more active with an underlying health condition

Here’s how to build regular activity into your life when you've got a long-term health condition: Being active with a long-term condition (csp.org.uk)

If you’ve got an underlying health condition and want to get walking, visit: Walking for Health - Walking for Health | Home


Helping keep children active

We all want our children to be healthy and happy, and here are some ideas to keep them active and well: Fit for the Future leaflet - England version | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (csp.org.uk)


Please remember:

  • Follow any medical advice you’ve been given
  • Do what you can and start slowly. It’s fine to push yourself a little, but don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable
  • Stop if you feel any pain or are lightheaded, and rest and stay hydrated
  • A little soreness after exercise is normal for the first day or two.






Find clubs and activities - To help you find covid-ready sports or fitness clubs or activities in the community, have a look at Community Activities Directory.

Find ways to be active - York’s new Health Trainers are ready to help you to finding new ways to be more active, and find local groups and activities to get you back out in the community. 

Find sports clubs - Want to get more active with other people? Ready to join a fitness or sports club? There are loads of ideas across Yorkshire at Sport England

Older people - Whatever your age, our bodies are meant to move and here are lots of ways to help you do that.

Dementia - Activities for people living with dementia and their carers 

Ideas to travel actively - iTravel encourages people in York to travel more actively or sustainably. 

Ideas on walking and cycling in the city for leisure and for getting out and about:

Ideas for walking more – iTravel York

Walking Groups – iTravel York

Walking Maps – iTravel York

Wildlife Walks – iTravel York

Cycle Maps – iTravel York

Cycling Training – iTravel York


The Live Well York Community Activities Directory has local Sport and Fitness entries, and the Services & Products Directory contains Fitness and Training entries. 

Last updated: 28/10/2021

Websites you may be interested in

York Health Walks

York Health Walks scheme, provides free group walks of different lengths from different locations across the city of York...

York Walks for Health

CYC Health Trainers

Our skilled CYC Health Trainers are able to offer free confidential one-to-one support and guidance, face-to-face or remotely...

City of York Council Health Trainers

NHS - Fit for Free

The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active...

NHS Get Fit For Free


For information on cycling and walking