Health and fitness

Benefits of exercise

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented. Find out how you could benefit from being more physically active.

Why sitting too much is bad for your health

Evidence suggests sitting for too long is bad for you, no matter how much exercise you do.

Health benefits of rock climbing

Find out about rock climbing’s unique physical and mental challenge and the life skills it can teach.

Gym-free workouts

Fun and equipment-free workouts to improve cardio, strength and general fitness

5-minute wake-up workout

Start your day with this five-minute workout to wake up your body and your mind.

Get active your way

Ideas for busy mums, families, young people, office workers and older adults to build activity into their life.

Top 10 gym exercises done incorrectly

Get the most out of your workouts with these tips for the top 10 exercises done incorrectly.

12-week fitness plan

A 12-week exercise plan for beginners combining running and strength and flexibility workouts.

Physical activity guidelines for adults

Guidelines for adults aged 19-64, for general health and fitness.

10-minute workouts

Choose from six 10-minute home workouts to improve your general fitness and tone your abs, legs, buttocks and triceps.

Get fit for free

Get fit for free with these exercise tips, including podcasts, home workouts, green gyms and how to get free equipment.

Why do I feel pain after exercise?

How to avoid sore muscles after exercise (also called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS)

How to stretch after exercising

How to stretch and cool down after a workout to warm down gradually, improve flexibility and slow your heart rate.

Physical activity guidelines for older adults

Guidelines for older adults aged 65 and over, for general health and fitness.

Physical activity guidelines for children (under 5 years)

Guidelines for children under 5, for healthy growth and development.

Get fit with Strength and Flex

The Strength and Flex plan will help you get up and moving and improve your health and wellbeing in five weeks.

Get running with Couch to 5K

Our C25K plan is designed to get just about anyone off the couch and running 5km in nine weeks.

Choosing sports shoes and trainers

Sports shoes can be the most important piece of fitness equipment you buy. Use this advice to get the right pair.

Strength exercises

Strength exercises that can be done at home to help improve your health and mobility

Balance exercises

Simple balance exercises that can be done at home to help improve your health and mobility

Flexibility exercises

Flexibility exercises for older people that can be done at home to help improve mobility and prevent falls

Sitting exercises

Gentle sitting exercises that can be done at home to help improve mobility and prevent falls

Walking for health

A guide to walking to improve your health and fitness, including tips on getting started and making walking fun.

Running tips for beginners

Running tips for beginners, including safety advice, technique, staying motivated and finding a running club.

Cycling for beginners

Whether it's to get to work or school, or just for fun, get started in cycling with this beginners' guide.

Swimming for fitness

Start swimming with this beginners' guide to making swimming fun and safe.

Dance for fitness

Learn to dance for fitness with this beginners' guide, including a quick guide to the most popular dance styles in the UK.

Fitness advice for wheelchair users

If you’re a wheelchair user, getting active regularly will bring you important health benefits.

David Weir, Paralympic superhuman

Paralympic superhero David Weir talks about his London 2012 success and how he got into wheelchair racing.

Fitness training tips

Guide to fitness training, with tips on building stamina, strength and flexibility, as well as diet and motivation.

Food and drinks for sport

Find out how a healthy diet can support your exercise regime.

Nordic walking

Nordic walking is a full body exercise that is easy on the joints. Find out about technique, the health benefits and getting started.

Knee pain and other running injuries

The five most common running injuries, what to do if you get one, and how to prevent getting injured.

Ada Gibson

'I learned to swim at 75'

Ada Gibson learned to swim at the age of 75. She's proof that it's never too late to get active.

Benefits of cycling

Find out how regular cycling can help you lose weight and boost your health, plus tips on road safety.

Activity holidays

How to get fit and have fun when you're on holiday, including ideas for activity breaks and tips on how to motivate kids.

The importance of exercise as you get older

How exercise can help older adults stay healthy, energetic and independent well into old age.

A guide to pilates

Find everything you need to know about pilates, including its health benefits, pilates and back pain, and how to choose a class.

A guide to yoga

All you need to know to get started in yoga, including the health benefits of yoga, yoga styles for beginners and finding a yoga class.

A guide to tai chi

All you need to know about tai chi, including health benefits, different styles and getting started.

Exercise and bone health

Making a few changes to your lifestyle can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis.

'I exercise to stay mobile and supple'

Maggie Nicholls, 62, says for her, exercising is about much more than being physically fit.

'I want to exercise till I'm 100'

Betty Shaw, 93, says exercise has been the key to helping her to continue living independently.

Gym-free exercises

Cheap and easy ways to improve your fitness without a gym, including walking, running, dancing, swimming and cycling.

British military fitness

Gareth Fletcher decided to leave the gym behind and try a new way to stay fit, with British Military Fitness.

Easy exercises

Improve your fitness without harming your joints with easy exercises, including yoga, Pilates and swimming.

The 10,000 steps challenge

Walking 10,000 steps a day can build stamina, burn excess calories and give you a healthier heart.

Sarah Storey

Sarah Storey: 'Competing is in my DNA'

Britain's most decorated female Paralympian Sarah Storey talks about sport, disability and winning gold medals in two different sports.

Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington on staying motivated

London 2012 star Rebecca Adlington talks about her love of swimming and shares her tips on staying motivated.

Darius Knight

Table tennis 'saved me'

Table tennis saved Londoner Darius Knight, three-times British under-21 champion, from a life on the streets.

Albert Aspen (left) and son Brian

Olympic wrestler, 75, still fighting fit

Former Olympic wrestler Albert Aspen on the importance of exercise and healthy eating as you get older.

Sam Boyd

'My weight loss tips'

Mum-of-two Sam Boyd decided to lose weight and get fit after her father-in-law died from cancer.

10 ways to get active with your kids

Having trouble getting your child away from the TV? Try these tips to get them out and active.

Ten ways to get fit

Exercise doesn't have to mean a hard slog at the gym. There are plenty of fun ways to get fit.

Sam Dunkley, 8

Exercise for children: football

Sam, aged 8, got fit and grew in confidence by playing football at an after-school club.

Exercise for children: hiking

Read about 12-year-old Claire, who keeps fit by hiking around the Leicestershire countryside with her family.

Luke Harman, 9

Exercise for children: kickboxing classes

Luke Harman, aged nine, who is visually impaired, takes kickboxing classes to improve his fitness.

Exercising in winter

Boost your mood and stay in shape with our winter weather exercise advice.

NHS Fitness Studio

The NHS Fitness Studio video workouts enable you to get fit for free in the comfort of your own home

Follow us on Twitter

Join more than 150,000 who follow @NHSChoices for the latest and best health news and lifestyle advice

Weight loss guide

Lose weight the healthy way and learn the skills to keep it off with our 12-week weight loss guide

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

5K+ running podcasts for C25K graduates

Take your running to the next level with new podcasts for Couch to 5K graduates

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer

What's your sport?

Find out which sport you're best suited to with this short psychological and aptitude test

Find your sport

Bodybuilding and sports supplements

Supplements are popular for people wanting to lose weight and build muscle, but some are illegal and dangerous

Fitness videos

Get more active no matter your age or fitness level, including tips on how to stay motivated.

Staying active in pregnancy

Find out the benefits of daily activity in pregnancy to you and your baby, and how to keep as healthy as possible

Video: how to keep fit with a disability

Keeping fit with a disability is easier than you may think. Get tips on how to find the right gym or how to do exercise at home

Lose weight

Weight loss resources to help you lose weight healthily, including the NHS 12-week diet and exercise plan

Try something new: dog walking

Colin shares his idea of walking the dog during his lunch break to put some fun exercise and peace of mind into his day