Start by making small changes to your day-to-day life

Making changes to your lifestyle can be daunting, so a good way to start is by making small changes to your day-to-day life that incorporate more activity. These small changes can make a huge difference if you keep them up!

Here's a few ideas for simple changes that you could think about making. The key is to move more by doing activities that feel manageable and build on these as they become easier.

When travelling, try to…

  • Take the stairs
  • Park farther from your destination
  • Walk more by taking public transport rather than driving
  • Get off the bus/train one or two stops earlier
  • Walk or cycle instead of driving

When at work, why not…

  • Swap your office chair for an exercise ball or get a standing desk
  • Take a walk at lunch or during breaks
  • Get up and talk to colleagues instead of emailing or ringing them
  • Set a phone reminder to walk around or stretch for a couple of minutes every half hour

When at home, you could…

  • Do stretches or march on the spot whilst watching TV
  • Walk up and down the stairs during advert breaks or when the kettle’s boiling
  • Twist your torso from side-to-side when cleaning your teeth
  • Do housework such as vacuum cleaning more vigorously
  • Mow the lawn with a push mower
  • Wash your car by hand

Whenever, consider…

  • Getting a pedometer, setting step goals and make sure you achieve them
  • Standing or walking around whenever you’re on the phone
  • Meeting friends for a walk rather than a drink or dinner

Find activities you’ll enjoy

When you feel ready to increase your level of physical activity beyond the day-to-day changes, think about extra activities that you would like to do. Whether it’s going for a walk or playing badminton, the type of activities you choose are completely up to you. Feel free to take inspiration from activities suggested in the activities section of this website.

If you’re taking medication for your diabetes, read this article before doing any extra activities.