It’s well known that exercise helps keep us healthy, yet around 34% of men and 42% of women don’t do enough physical activity.

The following Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK, tells us that regular physical activity reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 35 per cent and it is something we should all be aiming to achieve.

The key word is ‘regular’, while trying new activities which increase our physical activity levels temporarily are of benefit, we need to find ways to incorporate movement and regular physical activity into our daily routines. Here are some tips that might help.

Make a commitment

Committing to a weekly exercise class (or multiple) can help you stay active when motivation drops. If attending a paid class isn’t an option, ask a few local friends or neighbours if they want to form an exercise group with you. Set aside the same time each week to be active together, this could be something as simple as going for a walk or jog. The main thing is the commitment, having a set time scheduled into your week makes it easier to hit your activity goals.

Identify opportunities

Day-to-day life usually presents opportunities for us to move more, but in today’s modern world we find lifts and escalators in most places with stairs, and it has become the norm to drive rather than walk. Look at your weekly activities and determine ways you can be more active while going about your day-to-day duties. This could be taking the stairs in a shopping centre or parking a little further away from work and walking the rest of the way.

Know how much

Adults should aim to do 150 minutes of physical activity every week, which is 20-30 minutes a day. Other activities such as cleaning and gardening can count towards our movement goals. Don’t just think about sweating in a gym and let that put you off, reframe even the most mundane activities like hoovering and appreciate them for helping us to stay healthy.

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