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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Overview of keeping active

Tirohanga o te korikori tinana

Keeping physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Regular physical activity can help you:

Be active every day

Everyone should do at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity activity spread throughout the week. One way to do this is to do 30 minutes most days of the week.

Moderate-intensity activity means your heart and breathing rate will increase but you should still be able to have a conversation. Moderate-intensity activities include walking briskly, swimming, cycling, dancing and gardening.

This Active Canterbury page has more specific recommendations for different age groups.

You do not need to join a gym or play a sport to be active. Try adding more activity into your daily routine by doing things like walking your dog, taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking your tamariki (children) to school. For more ideas, see Getting more activity into your day.

Being active for small amounts of time throughout the day is as effective as doing it in one go. So, if you cannot do 30 minutes in 1 go, try doing 2 lots of 15 minutes or 3 lots of 10 minutes.

Find activities you enjoy

You are more likely to stick with an activity you find fun and rewarding. No activity is better than another, so find what works best for you. The Greater Christchurch sport and recreation guide can help you find an activity. It has information about all the sports clubs, parks, classes, groups and programmes in your area.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Starting to be more active

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2024.


Page reference: 202480

Review key: HIKEA-53695