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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.

Ideas to get started and stay active:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 

Getting active as a family:

  • 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.

Complete your own activity with our resources:

  • 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.

Join a Get Set to Go group

Get Set to Go helps people find the physical activity that is right for them so that they are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of being active. This programme is delivered by our local Mind network and is currently available in 19 local areas across England and Wales.

> Find your group

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

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

Get creative with your activities

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.

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.



Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


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> Find out more

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