for better mental health

Get active, feel good!

Did you know that getting active can reduce anxiety and stress, combat low mood and increase self-esteem? It can help you feel good on the inside and out.

We know that starting something new can be challenging, and getting active is no exception. On this page you'll find some handy tips, resources and inspirational stories to help you on your way.


Getting active at home and outdoors

There are lots of different types of exercise and physical activity. The most important thing to consider, is finding something that you enjoy. Take a look at some of the great resources below to help you get started.

  • Couch to 5k: This is a 9-week running programme designed for complete beginners by the NHS.
  • Gym-free workouts: Going to the gym isn't for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to get active instead. The NHS have created routines that you can do anywhere, anytime including seated exercises, strength, balance and flexibility sessions.
  • Parasport: Parasport have created accessible home workouts that are ideal for wheelchair users who are just getting started, or haven't been active for a while.
  • #FITFANS: Delivered by the EFL and EFL Trust, #FITFANS is a series of online exercise sessions for adults who would like to get active at home whilst in lockdown. No equipment needed and limited space required.
  • Fitness Blender: Here you can find over 500 free workout videos enabling you to choose the level of difficulty depending on whether you are new to exercise, or looking for something more advanced.
  • Yoga with Adriene: Yoga instructor Adriene offers over 500 free YouTube videos from complete beginners to those of you who are more advanced.
  • Join the Movement: Explore the new campaign which provides tips, advice and guidance on how to keep active in and around your home. Use #StayInWorkOut to share how you're getting active during this time.
  • NHS 10 minute workouts: Only got a few minutes? The 10-minute workout ideas are perfect if you've only got a bit of spare time when you're at home.
  • 10today: Tune in to 10 minutes of activity via the radio, online videos and on social media.
  • British Heart Foundation 10 minute workout: Work up a living-room sweat in 10 minutes with the British Heart Foundation. You only need a small space and no fancy gym gear to take part.
  • Active 10: A brisk daily walk is a great excuse to get outside and improve your health. The Active 10 app is a great way to help you monitor and gradually increase your brisk walking levels over time.
  • Youth Sport Trust: Explore a range of YouTube videos with fun challenges and activities that can be adapted to the space you have available.
  • Disney dance alongs: This Girl Can have partnered with Disney to provide dance workouts. You can learn their moves or put your own spin on their routines.
  • Change4Life indoor activities: Shake Up games inspired by your kids' favourite Disney characters.
  • A-Z activity guide: Looking to get active at home or in your garden but not sure where to start? Our A-Z activity guide includes an array of activities and most require no equipment.
  • Get active bingo: Challenge yourself and tick of your achievements with our bingo sheet designed to help you move more around your home.
  • Runners bingo: If you enjoy running, take a look at our runners bingo sheet and see if you can achieve a line or a full house by taking part in our suggested activities.
  • Mindful walking: Sometimes it's good to stop and take notice of what is going on around you, and a mindful walk is a great way to do that. You can use this resource to help you complete your own.
  • Mindfulness and yoga: Yoga encourages us to stop and take notice of how our mind and body are feeling. This activity sheet will help you plan for your own yoga practice, which you can complete at home or with a group of friends.

Getting active doesn't have to be long or intense. You could mix things up by taking part in fun challenges individually, in a group, or even online. Moving more is the key to finding something fun. Why not try one of the following:

  • How many "sit-to-stands", "step-ups" or other activities you can do in a minute? Record your total and challenge yourself to match it or beat it next time.
  • Set yourself a challenge over a period of time, for example, walking or running a marathon distance within a month.
  • Involve other people by doing your activities or challenges together over a video call or via a virtual event.
  • Make space to get outdoors whenever you can.

See if you can add your own twist to something you already do, or you could create something completely new.

We are Undefeatable

The We Are Undefeatable campaign sees 15 health and social care charities join forces to inspire people with long-term health conditions to be active. We know that having a mental health problem can be physically draining, but physical activity, however big or small, can help improve your mood.

Find out more about We Are Undefeatable

Sign up to Elefriends

Starting something new can be daunting. If you've recently started exercising, or would like peer support to help you get there, our Elefriends online community can help. Elefriends is a free, supportive space where you can be yourself and link up with others who are just starting out too.

Find out more about Elefriends

Our guide to getting active

Our information guide is full of details about how being active can be good for your mental health. The guide explores lots of handy tips to help you get started. You can also discover which type of exercise may be best for you, and how to overcome the barriers that may stop you from taking part.

Explore our guide

Returning to sport and physical activity as lockdown eases

You might feel relieved or excited that lockdown is easing where you live, meaning you can return to some of your usual activities including some sport and physical activity sessions. But you might also find yourself feeling less positive about the changes and may move through a range of difficult thoughts and feelings.

To help you manage those thoughts and feelings, we've put together a handy guide to help you prepare for getting active or returning to sport and physical activity.

Guidance for participants

Run and Talk

Watch Sujan's story about how running helped manage her anxiety and panic attacks.

We work with England Athletics to support Run and Talk events across England. If you'd like see if jogging is right for you, find a run near you on their site.

Find a Run And Talk group

Track your progress

You can download our free Get Set to Go plan to help you think about:

  • what you would like to achieve from being active
  • setting yourself some goals
  • look at what might stop you from reaching your goals and identify how to overcome any barriers
  • track your progress to help you reflect on your journey so far
  • identify the support you may need to help you stay well.

Download the plan


Give us your feedback

Do you use a website, app or other resource that you would recommend to help others be active? If so, contact us at [email protected] with details including how it has helped you and we could add it to this page.

Other ways to get involved

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