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.

Physical activity guidelines for adults

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

Get active your way

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

Do I need to stretch before exercising?

Whether you're a weekend warrior or competitive athlete, find out what the science says about the benefits of stretching.

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.

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.

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.

Cycling for beginners

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

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.

10-minute workouts

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

12-week fitness plan

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

Gym-free workouts

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

Get fit for free

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

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 five years)

Guidelines for children under five for healthy growth and development.

5-minute wake-up workout

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

Health benefits of rock climbing

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

Top 10 gym exercises done incorrectly

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

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.

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.

How a well-fitted sports bra can reduce breast pain

Find out how a correctly fitted sports bra can help reduce breast pain, which affects one in three women.

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.

Exercising in winter

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

Food and drinks for sport

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

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.

A guide to pilates

All you need to know about getting started in pilates, including pilates videos and finding a class.

A guide to tai chi

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

'I exercise to stay mobile and supple'

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

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: Britain's most decorated female Paralympian

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.

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.

10 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

Great exercise for children: football

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

Great 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

Great exercise for children: kickboxing

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

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Get online: take control of your health

Find out how you can improve your health and wellbeing by learning a few simple online skills

NHS Fitness Studio

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

Strength and Flex

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

5K+ running podcasts for C25K graduates

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

What's your sport?

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

Find your sport

Get fit with a new sport

Kickstart your active lifestyle with a new sport that suits you