How Active Should I Be?
Being physically active is about finding something that works for you. Below is guidance on how much daily physical activity you should try to do.
However, remember: any activity is better than none, so start small and build up over time.
Babies, Toddlers and Young Children (under 5s)
Active children are healthy, happy, school ready and better sleepers.
Aim for at least 180 minutes per day. The more the better! This should be spread throughout the day, including playing outdoors.
The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping.
For children aged 3-4 the 180 minutes should include 60 minutes of energetic physical activity.
Being active is important for:
- Building relationships and social skills
- Maintaining health and weight
- Brain development and learning
- Better sleep
- Developing muscles and bones
- Encouraging movement and coordination
Ways to keep kids active
Every movement matters, so try lots of different things! Messy play, jumping in puddles, climbing and playgrounds, tummy time for under 1s, swimming, dancing, walking and cycling are all fun ways to add more activity to every day.
Find out more
Children & Young People (aged 5-18 years)
Children aged 5-18 should do at least one hour of energetic activity every day. This might include running, skipping, swimming or cycling.
On at least three days a week they should do some exercise that helps develop their muscles and bones, such as skipping, gymnastics, climbing or dance.
Adults (19-64 years)
- Each week, adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking or cycling every week)
- Muscle strengthening activities should be done at least two days a week, but any strengthening activity is better than none. These could include heavy gardening, carrying heavy shopping, or resistance exercise.
Older Adults (aged 65+)
- Older adults should do some type of physical activity every day. Any type of activity is good for you but the more you do the better, even if it is just light activity.
- You should try and do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity across the week (2hrs 30mins) .
- You should try and do activities that improve strength, balance and flexibility on at least 2 days a week
- Ask your doctor for advice before you get started if you are planning on becoming active for the first time and you have a health condition
- A little bit of movement is better than none
- Each week, adults should try to do 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate intensity activity, where
- Muscle strengthening activities should be done at least two days a week, but any strengthening activity is better than none.
Throughout pregnancy aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week. This can be at home, out and about or doing leisure activities
Women After Childbirth (birth to 12 months)
Women who have given birth within the last 12 months should aim for 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate intensity activity per week. Start gently and build up slowly, listening to your body. Pelvic floor exercises should also be done every day.