Two students running in Bristol city centre

Get active

It’s never too late to start exercising. You don’t have to join a gym or spend a lot of money – simple changes to your daily routine can make a big difference.

Benefits of being physically active

Being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. Exercise not only makes you feel fitter, stronger and more energetic, it also helps boost your confidence, reduce stress, sleep better and maintain a balanced weight. Discover more great health benefits of being physically active on the NHS website.

NHS physical activity guidelines

The NHS physical activity guidelines recommend that adults:

  • take at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week
  • do 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week
  • do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Fitness self-assessment

Want to know if you are doing enough physical activity? You can take a simple fitness self-assessment test on the NHS website. It'll help you to understand what the recommended levels of activity are. You can also download a free fitness podcast to get you started.

Want to try something new but need ideas? The BBC has a fun online quiz to help you find out which sports are most suited to you.

Keeping active on a weekly basis

To stay healthy or to improve your health, you should do two types of physical activity each week – some aerobic activity and some muscle-strengthening activity.

View examples of aerobic and muscle strengthening activities:

Aerobic: moderate intensity

  • Walking fast
  • Water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground
  • Doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Hiking
  • Skateboarding
  • Rollerblading
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball

Aerobic: vigorous intensity

  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming fast
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • Singles tennis
  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Martial arts
  • Hockey
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics

Muscle-strengthening activity

  • Lifting weights
  • Using resistance bands
  • Body weight exercises for resistance, ie push-ups or sit-ups
  • Yoga

Top tips for getting active

  • Come along to one of our Feel Good events and try something new. By finding activities you enjoy and making them a part of your daily life you’ll soon start seeing the benefits.
  • We also have a programme working in partnership with The Cinnamon Trust and Friends of South Glos Strays, which is another great way to gently introduce physical activity into your lifestyle.
  • Try and incorporate a short lunchtime walk into your daily schedule – fresh air, stretching your legs, and getting outdoors are all beneficial!
  • Get fit and do good at the same time with GoodGym – a group of runners that combines regular exercise with helping our communities.
  • You can find more top tips on how to get fit for free and ideas on making activity part of your day on the change4life website.

Campus sports facilities and walking routes

The University's Centre for Sport has a range of fitness classes and high-quality gym equipment. There's a variety of membership options to suit your lifestyle – as a student, you'll get a discounted rate and a free induction.

If you want to keep fit while meeting new people, you'll love our Social Sport activities

We also have a great programme called Off The Wall. Memberships cost just £20 a year for staff and students, and there are over 20 non-traditional sport and exercise activities for you to take part in.  

Walking routes around Frenchay Campus

There are a number of safe and easy walking routes around Frenchay Campus, that you can do on your lunch break or in between lectures to help you get active.

Want to lose weight?

The Bristol Adult Specialist Weight Management Service provides accessible information and advice for people registered with a Bristol GP. If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, with no medical condition or, over 28 with a medical condition that is made worse by excess weight, you can refer yourself to the weight management service for help to make changes to your lifestyle and lose weight.

The service offers one-to-one consultations followed by regular review appointments over the course of six to 12 months. It is aimed at people motivated to lose weight and prepared to make sustainable lifestyle changes towards a healthier diet and increased physical activity. The team of weight management dietitians works together to help people plan, develop and reach their weight loss goals.

There are a number of clinics that provide this service across Bristol, so please call +44 (0)117 959 8935 for more information.

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