Skip to main content

I want to start my journey to become more physically active

How to get started?

As we have previously highlighted, physical activity is not only good for your body, but it is also good for your mind.  However, sometimes it is difficult to get started.  Common barriers include previous negative experiences with exercise, lack of time or motivation, feeling unsure of where to start, not feeling confident, or having a desk-based job which means we are sedentary for long periods.


Here are some top tips to get you started:

Start Small

Find ways in which you can fit activity into your day and build from there.
Examples of how this can be done includes:

  • Stand rather than sit when you can
  • Try getting off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Park a little further away than you need to.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
  • Walk instead of drive
  • Do some light housework or light gardening

Find something you enjoy

person holding sun
You are more likely to stick to something if you enjoy it. For ideas on activities, please visit our A-Z list of activities.


Track your progress

chart arrow
Setting a realistic daily target and hitting it will feel great. This can either be steps, distance, active minutes or anything else. There are a number of tracking apps available but it can be as simple as a checklist in a piece of paper.

Examples of daily targets can include:

  • I’m going to park further away than I need to
  • In work, I will be talking the stairs everyday


Go from strength to strength

Activities that build strength such as carrying heavy grocery bags, online pilates or strength workout videos, help keep muscles, joints and bones strong.  It is recommended that you aim to do these twice a week. You don’t need to be a member of a gym. There are a number of online videos available to help you. (Please see below for details)


Do it together

Sometimes it is easier to get motivated if you have become active with company (friends or family).  Sometimes bringing in an element of healthy competition and challenges can make it more fun. So grab a friend, colleague or family member to join you.


Get into a good habit

calendar This helps with developing a routine which makes it easier for you to stick to the plan. A little prep can be the difference between getting going or making excuses not to.  Here are some suggestions for developing a good habit:

  • Setting a reminder to move throughout the day
  • Move or stretch when watching the TV or when making a cuppa
  • Stick to the same days / time if possible


Reward yourself

Set realistic goals and reward yourself. Treat yourself to:

  • Trip to the cinema or concert or match tickets.
  • Film or music download
  • Clothes
  • Trip out somewhere
  • New toiletries
  • New gadget
  • Book or audio book

You don’t need to be sporty to become physically active. There are many things you can do to support and improve your physical wellbeing.


Activity Ideas

You don’t need to be sporty to become physically active. There are many things you can do to support and improve your physical wellbeing. Here are some ideas to get started:

Whilst on the go:

  • Walk / bike to work or to the shops
  • Get off the bus a few stops early
  • Take the stairs
  • Park farther away

At Home:

  • Clean the house, vacuum,
  • Do some gardening i.e mow the lawn, etc
  • Wash the car
  • Dance like no-one’s watching
  • Try some online workouts whilst watching TV
  • Hulahooping
  • Skipping

At Work:

  • Desk stretches / breaks
  • Host active meetings - walk and talk
  • Walk whilst in the phone

Friends and Family:

  • Set up an obstacle course
  • Fly a kite
  • Play catch
  • Pillow fight
  • 4 square
  • Hopscotch
  • Tag / Mob
  • Duck, Duck Goose
  • Skipping
  • Frisbee
  • Geocaching
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Water relay race
  • Game of rounders in the park
  • Release your inner child


Remember anything is better than nothing – even if you aren’t able to achieve 150 minutes a week, that doesn’t mean you’ll get no benefits from being as active as you can be.



Take a look at the videos below for ideas on overcoming some of the barriers to physical activity:



Barrier to Exercise - Workshop Details


Barrier to Exercise - Time


Barrier to Exercise - Motivation


Barrier to Exercise - Boredom


Barrier to Exercise - Desk-Based Working


Why We Quit Our Exercise Plans And What We Can Do About It
Talks about how boredom is the main reason people quit exercising, and how to stay motivated and engaged.

To find out what's available in your area, take a look at the following websites:

Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Wellbeing

Rhondda Cynon Taf

RCT Leisure for Life



Official Website of
Disability Sport Wales

Disability Sport Wales

Trails (

Visit Merthyr

Walking - Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons

Visit Bridgend

Walking Trails | Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf

Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf

Walking Trails | Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf

Cardiff Ramblers

Free Apps

Active 10 Track and build up your daily walks
- start with 10 minutes every day!

Couch to 5K A running app for absolute beginners
- as well as recent Couch to 5K graduates.

Download on the App Store NHS Active 10 App -
Download on the App Store

Download on the App Store NHS Couch to 5K App -
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play NHS Active 10 App -
Get it on Google Play
Get it on Google Play NHS Couch to 5K App -
Get it on Google Play

Free Online Exercise Videos

There are a number of online exercise videos available created for the NHS:

  • Links to a range of Aerobic Exercise videos to suit all levels, that can be done from home. Includes Couch to 5K etc.
  • Links to a range of Strength and Resistance exercise videos to suit all levels, that can be done from home.
  • Links to a range of Pilates and Yoga exercise videos to suit all levels, that can be done from home.
Follow us: