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I want to get more active but I'm not sure where to start

Adding more physical activity to your day-to-day routine can help you do more and stay well in later life. It can also be a great opportunity to socialise and meet new people. Being more active shouldn't feel like a chore, so it's important to find something you enjoy. 

How do I get started?

Getting active can seem daunting if you don’t currently move much – so start small. It’s always a good idea to build up your activity levels gradually. Lots of everyday activities count as exercise, so look for simple ways you can begin to move more that fit in with your daily routine.

Remember that every step counts – even if it’s just a few extra here and there. It’s about moving more each day, in whatever way works for
you. You could start by: 

  • getting up and stretching if you've been sat down for a while
  • walking to the shops instead of driving or choosing a parking space a bit further away from the shops if you drive there
  • using stairs instead of lifts or escalators
  • doing more housework or gardening.

What types of exercise can I try?

There's no specific type of exercise you should be doing as you get older, but activities that work your cardiovascular system are best, as they help keep your heart, lungs and brain healthy. You could try:

  • things in your own home, such as gentle chair-based exercises
  • doing some gardening or heading out for a walk
  • cycling, jogging or swimming
  • sports such as tennis, squash or walking football
  • joining a local dance class. 

The most important thing is to find something enjoyable because this can make it much easier to stick with.

Find out more about getting active by walking more

Search for classes nearby

Classes can be a great way to try things out and our local directory can help you find out what's going on near you. Lots of Age UKs run regular exercise classes for people of all abilities, at very discounted rates.

Find out what sort of exercise classes your local Age UK runs


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How can I stay strong?

As we get older, it becomes harder to maintain our muscle mass. It's really important to strengthen our muscles, as this helps our mobility, flexibility and the strength of our bones. You could try the following exercises: 

  • lifting weights – make sure to start small and build up gradually
  • yoga 
  • bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges.

Can I still exercise if I have a health condition?

Living with a health condition can make being active much more challenging – but it doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t ways you can move more.

The first step is to find what works for you. There are certain things to bear in mind if you have a condition, including:

  • where and when you can get active 
  • the symptoms of your condition
  • the medical advice you've been given.

Speak to a healthcare professional, or the instructor if you're taking a class – they'll help you find the best ways to exercise safely.

It's important to remember that some days will be better than others. Some days, your body might be telling you that you need to do less – or do nothing at all, and that's OK. More regular activity, however and whenever it suits you, really adds up.

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Jul 19 2024

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