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Being 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 build 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 Six 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 Ramblers Wellbeing Walks (previously Walking for Health).


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 What's On, Hubs & Clubs and Services Directories | Live Well York.

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 directory has entries for local Sport and Fitness activities. The Services & Products directory contains entries for Fitness and Training. 

We Are Undefeatable

We Are Undefeatable

Welcome to the York specific page about becoming more active, while managing your long term health condition. Here you will find information on getting started, ways to move and stories of local people.

If you haven’t done so already, you might also want to visit the national website. You can view the We Are Undefeatable TV advert, find lots of useful resources and links to the national social media channels. 

Getting Started

We understand that how you feel can change from day to day. And sometimes, that can make moving more feel like a challenge.

It may be that being active has seemed like a big commitment or something that didn’t feel like it was for you. That’s perfectly okay.

The truth is that you can start small, and you don’t have to get moving when you don’t feel up to it. Ultimately, being active is about finding what works for you.

Here are four top tips when thinking about becoming more active:

  1. Find activities you enjoy – that way you are far more likely to keep doing it
  2. Start slowly and build up – don’t expect to see big changes overnight. Aiming for ten minutes of activity a day can be a good starting point.
  3. Make the most of your good days – listen to your body and do what feels comfortable that day.
  4. Move More – whatever you choose to do, it’s all good for your health and wellbeing. Try building more activity into your daily life (through walking, cycling, stretching) as well as an activity (swimming, pilates or a group).

You could also think about using a free app to track your activities – a great place to start is the Active 10 app.

Ways to Move

When it comes to finding ways to move, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are many, many ways to be active, including some that people may not realise actually countYou might want to join a club or a group trying something new in the process, or you might want to start with some simple activity that you can build into your daily life. See the links below for some ideas of what’s going on in York.

Moving in your own home

Activities you can do at home vary greatly and include very low-intensity options for moving more. Chair exercises, for instance, allow you to move and stretch your body while sitting down, making them suitable for most people. You can also do simple work-outs with equipment or objects you’d find in the home, like a small water bottle or a tin of beans. Search for “home object workouts” for more information and examples of workouts you can try.


York has a range of different locations where you can walk. From the city centre, to the villages and countryside on the outskirts. The beauty of walking is it can be part of your everyday life, such as walking to the shops or as part of a commute, or it can be a structured activity.

The place to start is the iTravel website, which gives information about walking in York.

If you are unsure of where to walk, plan your route in advance using a mapping tool. Many will pick up on footpaths that you maybe didn’t know existed.

You might like to connect with nature and follow a wildlife walk. See the iTravel York Wildlife Booklet for many different routes that you could follow.

Or, join a free led walk, with the Ramblers Wellbeing Walks (previously York Health Walks) programme. There are various walks across the city. The latest list is available on the Ramblers website.


York has an extensive network of off-road cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes offers safe access into and around the city. Cycling can also be built into your daily life as a way of getting around/commuting or can also be a structured activity you take part in.

The place to start is the iTravel website, where you can find cycling routes and maps in York. Most mapping tools will also plan you a route via bike (rather than car) and will often pick out cycle routes that you might not know existed.

If you’ve never ridden a bike before on the roads (or have done so a long time ago), you might feel nervous about venturing out on a bike. If that sounds like you, then an urban cycle skill is perfect for you. It’s a 90 minute session, either one to one or with your family, where a cycle trainer will ride with you either from your home or your place of work (within the City of York). It’s not a test and it’s certainly not cycling proficiency, it is just a great way to build your confidence on the bike. For more information visit iTravel York – Urban Cycling Skills.

Groups and Clubs

You might want to try a new activity (or return to one you’ve done before). First, make sure that you’re comfortable engaging in the activity you’re about to try. Have the information you need before you start, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you don’t know the answers to. There are some online resources and digital tools, like EXi, that can help you figure out how to go about trying something new based on your condition.

You can also use the Live Well York directory of sport and fitness activities to find an activity you are interested in. Use the drop down menu to select a particular sport.


If you have your own #WeAreUndefeatable story please let us know at livewellyork@york.gov.uk

We Are Undefeatable is supported by the following charities: Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Asthma UK, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now, British Lung Foundation, British Red Cross, Diabetes UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal Voluntary Service, Stroke Association and Versus Arthritis.

For more information on long term conditions visit Long Term Conditions.

Last updated: 08/02/2023

Websites you may be interested in

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

i Travel