Being active with a health condition

Being active is safe for most people, even if you have a health condition. It can make you feel stronger and healthier, help you manage your weight, improve your sleep and ease stress and anxiety.

How to get started

You don’t need fancy gear or a gym membership, just a daily stroll to the local park is a simple and great way to start.

Take it easy and build up slowly - over time, you will feel healthier, more energetic and more relaxed. You can also choose to take part in a range of activities at home.

If you’re not sure about getting started, have a chat with your healthcare team or GP, or use our activity finder and provider information at the bottom of this page to find a session or organisation that can help. 

Why being active is good for you

How being active benefits a range of different health conditions.

Below are some examples of how exercise can help you manage and improve your health, and the real-life stories on the right-hand side of this page will hopefully give you some inspiration too.

  • Asthma  - being active helps to keep lungs healthy and strong, reduce breathlessness and fight colds and viruses that are a trigger for over 80% of people with asthma. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of an asthma attack.
  • Diabetes - being active makes it easier to control diabetes. It also helps manage blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Cancer - being active can help lift your mood and reduce the risk of other health problems. It can also help you manage your blood pressure, build stronger muscles, joints and bones, and improve heart health.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - being active strengthens muscles and bones that aid breathing. It will help reduce breathlessness, build stronger heart muscles and improve circulation, leading to fewer chest infections and more energy.
  • Coronary Heart Disease - this includes angina, heart attacks, strokes and vascular dementia. Being active can reduce the risk of complications by improving blood flow.
  • Depression - being active is proven to boost your mood and is a great way to tackle mild to moderate depression.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure - being active can help you manage or lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, build a stronger heart and improve your emotional and mental health.