Activity and exercise
If you have recently lost a lot of weight, then you may need to maintain your daily exercise levels at between 60–90 minutes to keep your weight stable.
So what exactly counts towards my weekly activity?
The good news is that everything does!
Walking between floors at work, cycling to work, playing with the children, walking through the supermarket and to and from school with the kids, your aerobics class, the housework, the gardening – everything that makes you breathe a little harder, but not to the extent that you can't speak.
Each day, all your activities count towards your overall exercise total whether you are active for 10 minutes here and there, or for a block of 30 minutes.
Why is physical activity so important to my wellbeing?
Irrespective of age, regular exercise helps you feel fit, relaxed, gives you more energy and helps protect you against a range of diseases including heart problems, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and depression.
Be honest with yourself – most people overestimate their activity and underestimate what they eat. Maintaining a healthy weight means you need to balance the energy you expend with the calories you consume.
If you’ve been unwell, or haven’t exercised for years, you may wish to speak to your GP and check that it’s safe to start working out – work at an intensity that’s safe for you, don’t get too competitive straight away. Set yourself sensible goals which reflect your fitness levels and review these as your fitness levels improve.
Walking for health
Walking is a great way to be active. There are so many places to walk across West Sussex, from the flat promenades of the coastal towns to the more challenging ups and downs of the National Park. It’s low-cost exercise which everyone can enjoy … just find yourself some appropriate footwear.
The British weather needn’t be a deterrent, regular walkers love the idea that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!
Every District Council in West Sussex operates a programme of walks for people of all abilities, and the links on the right-hand side of the page will take you to their timetables.
If you’d prefer to walk on your own while you build up your fitness and confidence then download the maps for your local area and guide yourself: links are on the right-hand side of the page.
Keen to know more about walking? Take a look at the Walking For Health website.
Exercising outdoors: 'green' and 'blue' exercise
Exercising out in the natural environment is very stimulating. Fresh air, great views, cost-effective – it’s a great way to improve our physical and mental wellbeing.
'Green' exercise includes so many activities: from gardening on your own doorstep to organised conservation projects, and in Sussex we have a huge 'blue' gym at our disposal – the English Channel!
Sussex Wildlife Trust is responsible for many volunteer programmes which operate in the county and details of its schemes, which include regular activities in our beautiful local parks, can be found on the Sussex Wildlife Trust website.
Be sure to call into your local council offices or library, where leaflets are available for schemes across the county.
Local clubs and leisure facilities
You may be interested in a particular sport such as football, athletics, hockey, badminton, squash, gymnastics or the Sussex sport of stoolball. Each of these will have their own national governing body and they will be able to put you in touch with local clubs that offer regular coaching sessions.
Further information about local sports, clubs and leisure facilities can be found using the links on the right of this page.