Print this topic

HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Keeping active

Keeping active is one of the best things you can do for your health. And the good news is, every bit of movement counts. You don't need to be a marathon runner or go to the gym for your activity to benefit your health.

People who are active have fewer diseases such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and so on. Keeping active can improve your mood and help with mental health issues and stress. It can help maintain your energy levels and help you stay a healthy weight. It can help you develop the strong bones and muscle strength that you need to stay independent as you get older. It can even help with brain power. And it's fun if you can find an activity you enjoy, or find people you enjoy doing activities with.

Imagine if exercise was a medicine. It would be one of the most effective medicines that we have. No medicine is as powerful, or can prevent and treat as many things at once. Almost everyone can find some form of physical activity that they can do. Our bodies are designed to move, and movement can help our bodies.

There's no better time to start being active than right now.

For an important but entertaining answer to the question "What is the single best thing we can do for our health", see Dr Mike Evans' video 23 and ½ Hours.

Also see this video about Why sitting is bad for you.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2016.

In this section

How active should I be?

Starting out or getting back into activity

Ideas for keeping active

Ideas for keeping kids active

Keeping active for older adults

Green Prescription (physical activity)

Page reference: 53695

Review key: HIKEA-53695