Be physically active
To help prevent cancer, be physically active as part of everyday life – walk more and sit less
This can help to protect against three types of cancer. To find out which ones, visit our Risk Factors section.
Be physically active for at least 150 minutes a week, and sit less
Being physically active can help to protect against cancer, improve your long-term health and help make you feel great. Physical activity, when combined with a healthy diet, can also help you to manage your weight.
What type of activity should I do?
Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.
Moderate intensity activities will make you feel warmer and breathe faster, but you should still be able to talk. This includes brisk walking, cycling, household chores, gardening, swimming and dancing.
Vigorous activities will raise your heart rate and make you start to sweat and feel out of breath. This includes running, aerobics, sports such as squash, netball and football, and fast cycling.
To increase the benefits even more and to help you control your weight, aim to do 45–60 minutes of moderate activity a day.
If you aren't active, start introducing some short chunks (10 to 15 minutes) of gentle activity such as walking and build up slowly until you reach your target – anything is better than nothing.
Tips for keeping active
Taking a few simple steps can make all the difference:
Make small changes
Look at your day-to-day routine. Make a note of when you fit activity in now and when you could do more, even if it’s just a bit more of what you already do, for example walking for longer, or slightly faster.
- Mowing the lawn and ironing count too! See how many calories you could burn with our exercise calorie calculator
- Couple your activity with some healthy eating – take a look at our recipes
Time spent watching television, reading and being on the computer can all add up. Try to swap some of these sedentary activities for more active ones like going for a walk with friends or starting a new active hobby like dancing or swimming.
- Take up a running challenge – look at our fundraising events for inspiration
Keep it fun
An activity you enjoy is easier to stick to. Inviting a friend or family member for a game of tennis or to join you for a jog can make it more fun and help them get healthier too.
There are plenty of easy ways to build activity into your daily routine – like cycling and walking. Instead of using public transport or driving, try cycling, jogging or walking briskly for all or part of your journey.