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Getting active is one of the best ways that you can improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Whatever your starting point or current activity levels, Live Life Better Derbyshire has plenty of ideas and advice to help you get started.

Physical activity is not just about structured exercise classes and working up a sweat in the gym though. It’s the everyday activities such as housework, walking to work, gardening and dancing to the radio in your kitchen.

Different things work for different people so it’s important to find something that fits into your routine but is also realistic and manageable for you.

This might be exercise classes, going for a swim or getting on your bike. Alternatively, it might be something simple like going for a weekend walk or getting off the bus one stop earlier.

There’s lot of evidence that shows the benefits of physical activity in terms of both treating and preventing diseases.

Find out more about the health benefits of getting active.

Exercise by Referral

Exercise by Referral is a comprehensive, 12 week programme of exercise supported by qualified exercise referral staff that's carried out at local leisure centres.

The service aims to increase exercise and activity for people wanting to improve their health. It's particularly aimed at people who currently do little or no physical activity but are motivated to do more.

In order to take part in the scheme people must be referred by a GP or other qualified health professional and must meet the following criteria.

You are eligible for the Exercise by Referral scheme if you are:

  • aged 19 or over
  • a Derbyshire resident or registered with a Derbyshire GP
  • inactive, for example doing less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week
  • have not been previously referred into the programme

Anyone who is referred but does not meet the criteria will not be accepted onto the scheme.

However, you can access alternative support through our Live Life Better Derbyshire programme and leisure providers but these may not be free of charge.

Recommended amounts of exercise

It can be quite confusing to figure out exactly how much exercise is enough exercise.

However, the good news is that even a small increase in the amount of exercise you do can have positive effects - every little helps.

As a guide physical activity needs to be of at least moderate intensity to benefit your health.

Someone doing moderate intensity activity will usually see an increase in their breathing and heart rate, will feel warmer and may sweat on hot or humid days.

In contrast someone doing vigorous physical activity will usually be breathing very hard, be short of breath, have a rapid heartbeat and be unable to carry on a conversation.

Physical activity and weight loss

Unless you only have a few pounds to lose it can be hard to lose weight through exercise alone.

Weight loss is all about burning more calories than you take in and it’s easier to shave off 500 calories a day by cutting back on fatty foods in your diet than it is to exercise it off.

In fact the average person would need to run about five miles to burn off those 500 calories.

However, regular exercise combined with a healthy diet gives you the best chance of losing weight and keeping it off.

  • find out more about weight management and how Live Life Better Derbyshire can help on our weight loss pages
  • find out about services and organisations that can help you increase your physical activity on our useful tools page