Keeping Active

We all know that physical exercise is hugely beneficial to our health and yet a third of UK adults don’t even manage 30 minutes of exercise a week. An exercise programme can be tailored to suit your individual health needs or limitations. Many people view exercise as a hard slog and wouldn’t necessarily feel capable of doing exercise. Yet heart attack patients are encouraged to do exercise as soon as they are able under a guided programme of exertions.

There are many types of gentle exercise;

  • Walking for health is a scheme that attempts to conquer this problem. It is a network of 600 health walks across the country helping people to lead a more active lifestyle by getting into walking and also the added benefit of socialisation. There are a huge range of groups across the West Midlands.Click here to find a health walk scheme near you.
  • Swimming is one of the best all round exercises for the body at your own pace and time
  • Yoga/ Pilates
  • Dance classes

There are many online classes provided by the NHS from the gentle exercise to the more robust.

When you’re ready, click on the link below to find out more and register using your NHS email address:

Physical activity or exercise is an important form of body movement that helps to promote our physical as well as our mental wellbeing. Over the years, exercise has been advocated as a crucial aspect of health that should not be ignored due to the increasing incidences of obesity as a public health issue.

Nevertheless, exercise is also essential for our mental wellbeing as it helps improve our mood positively through release of chemicals as well as improves our self-esteem also helps reduce depression. The mind which is the hub of our mental state is dependent on the state of our body, if functioning properly or not. Therefore, engaging in physical activity can help keep our mind healthy.

Being physically active has various mental health benefits such experiencing less stress and fatigue, improved sleep, energy boost, maintains healthy weight as well as better social interaction. Hence, it is vital not to ignore this free and easy natural form of body movement that is great for our total health and wellbeing.

For information and examples of Gym-free exercises please click here.

Walking for health

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

You don’t have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has many health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Six Simple Steps to Successful Walking

  • Start slowly – If you’re not used to exercise, walk 10 minutes from home and then turn around and walk back.  Increase this by a minute or two every day
  • If you’re not slightly out of breath, it’s not working – Make sure that you feel slightly out of breath and are perspiring slightly.  This is a good indication that you’re walking at the right pace
  • Gradually increase the intensity – When your walk starts to feel easier, increase the intensity by taking longer strides and swinging your arms by your sides
  • Consider walking on a treadmill – If you have knee, hip or joint problems, consider walking on a treadmill as they are cushioned which helps to reduce the impact on the body
  • Look for soft ground outdoors – If you’re walking outdoors, you might find it more comfortable to walk on soft ground instead of pavements
  • Wear thin layers – Depending on the weather and the distance you’re walking you might also want to carry a bottle of water, a snack, sunscreen, a sunhat and a waterproof jacket.

What if I’m not very active?


  • If you’re not very active but are able to walk, increase your walking distance gradually
  • If your joints are a problem, check whether your local swimming pool holds exercise classes.  The water helps to support your joints while you move, and once you lose a bit of weight, the pressure on your joints will reduce.

If you’re not active because of a medical condition, get information on exercising with a disability from NHS Choices at and from your GP.



Online Fitness Platforms

This programme has been designed for all NHS colleagues, of any physical ability – from first-timers, or those who have never exercised before, through to those who exercise regularly.  The offer will support and help you and your teams to become more physically active and help improve your wellbeing, you can even get your friends and family involved too.

This national offer comes in the form of a multi-functional online platform that you have free access to, 24/7, simply by signing up with your NHS email address. The concept has been created by an NHS collaboration with Be Military Fit, with partners including the Imperial College, The British Dietetic Association and other clinical experts to provide you with advice, guidance and exercises to support your physical health and wellbeing needs.

The platform has something for everyone. It may be:

  • advice on how to snack more healthily when you’re working shifts
  • a meditation or mindful breathing exercise to support you when things feel on top of you
  • a high intensity workout to get your heart racing and relief some stress or
  • an introductory exercise session because you’re not sure where to start, but you really want to

#DoingOurBit is a specially designed online fitness platform with over 60 free workouts for NHS staff, with new content being added all the time. Every workout has been externally verified to ensure the highest level of safety, integrity, and quality. To read more about #DoingOurBit read this blog post.

Soon you will be able to access the #DoingOutBit app and early next year they hoping to have in-person classes, gym sessions, and swimming. To access the updated platform and additional services you need to re-register or register your details.

This is a great opportunity to try something new.

Whatever you choose to do, do something that works for you.

We see this offer to be the beginning of a full culture change; the start of a journey for NHS people. It is also an invitation for you to explore what’s on offer and learn what works for you.

Hear from a few NHS colleagues the benefits they have felt by looking after their physical health:

Useful links

When you’re ready, click on the link below to find out more and register using your NHS email address: