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Keeping yourself physically fit and active helps you to lead a healthier life and can make you feel better. Taking part in sports can help you to get out, meet new people and make friends.

Regular exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. It is also good for your mental wellbeing and can help to boost your mood, your self-esteem, help you to sleep better and reduce the risk of stress and depression.

NHS Choices has information about health and fitness.

LiveWell Dorset is here for your health and wellbeing. A free health service provided by Dorset Council, it will guide you to a healthier lifestyle through free advice and coaching. Do you want to become more active, manage your weight, quit smoking, or drink less alcohol? Take your next step to LiveWell.

Active 4 Health aims to encourage local people across East Dorset to get and keep active through a wide range of activities to suit location, interest and health needs.

Dorset Council Adult cycle training vouchers:  Many people would like to cycle for pleasure but are put off by the traffic or because they feel out of practice. A refresher cycle training session can give you added confidence.

We have a limited number of vouchers on offer giving you one-to-one bespoke tuition at a reduced rate. Each voucher entitles you to a two-hour session, individually tailored to you with a qualified instructor. To qualify for a voucher you must live in the Dorset Council area and be aged 18+. The scheme does not cover Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Fitness for older people

As we age, it's really important to keep active and exercise regularly. Moving more lowers your risk of a variety of health conditions including heart disease and dementia.

Activity is anything that works for you. Every little counts, so start small and keep it up! Break up periods of sitting with regular movement.

Maintain muscle and movement from the comfort of your home through chair exercises. If you feel able to try something more energetic, try these swinging sixties dance workouts.

Read more NHS guidance about exercise as you get older.’

Age UK North, South & West Dorset has advice on how to keep fit and active for older people.

Staying active can help to reduce your risk of falls. We have more information about preventing trips and falls.

You can find local fitness activities for older people in our Community Directory.

Alzheimer's Society has advice on exercise and physical activity for those with dementia.

Fitness and disability

NHS Choices have information about how to get active if you have a disability or are in a wheelchair.

You can find local fitness activities for people with a disability in our Community Directory.

Stay active at home

From chair exercises to dance fitness, there are lots to try from the comfort of your home.

The NHS have created a series of videos to introduce you to Pilates and HIIT workouts.

Stay active outdoors

Walking briskly, even for 1 minute, counts as exercise. A daily brisk 10-minute walk will get your heart pumping, improve your mood and lower the risk of serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Active 10 is an app that tells you just how many minutes of brisk walking you complete every day.

Once you can complete 30 minutes of brisk walking, why not try the couch to 5k app to keep taking steps forward. Designed for people who have done little or no running, the app provides guided commentary from a coach of your choice, a plan and a way to track your progress. Learn more and download the app.

Being outdoors can increase your mental and physical wellbeing. It can also help with rehabilitation and education.

You can try a range of voluntary and paid occupational activities which use the outdoor environment as a form of therapy, such as allotment schemes, plant nurseries, riding centres and care farms. These activities are intended to help those with needs ranging from mild depression to life long learning disabilities.

Consider a large range of activities such as allotment schemes, plant nurseries, riding centres and care farms.

Health walks are regular short guided walks that take place every week throughout Dorset. These free walks offer a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and meet new people as well as keeping you fit and healthy.

Parks in Mind programme provides fun nature conservation and other outdoor activities in Bournemouth's beautiful parks and open spaces to deliver health and wellbeing benefits to the people taking park. 

Stepping into Nature is a project led by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team which creates and promotes nature-themed activities – both indoors and out – help people find new places to go, learn new skills and meet like-minded people.

Anyone can take part, but they are particularly suited for older adults, including those with living with long term health conditions, such as dementia, and their care partners.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the project helps to increase people’s confidence and independence, and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Picnic in the Parks spend time engaging with nature, indoors or out, boosts your mood, self-esteem and motivation to be active.

We’re excited to announce that Picnic in the Parks, a popular event in Dorset, has moved online and is full of ideas to enjoy nature and get active. By moving the events online, you can find fun new ways to enjoy nature and look after your health from home.

Use the interactive map to explore a variety of zones to discover opportunities on a range of topics and interests. From how to get more active and involved in your community to finding walks on your doorstep.

Picnic in the Parks is created by Stepping into Nature, Natural Choices and Active Dorset, along with local organisations and community groups.

Activate Coast and Greenspace programme

The Activate Coast and Greenspace programme aims to encourage local people to become more active through a wide range of activities within the natural environment. When it comes to exercise you can't beat getting out and about in the fresh air!

Keeping active can protect against serious health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, cancer and mental illness.

All activities are welcoming and inclusive to people of all ages and abilities, with a particular focus on entry level opportunities. From Nordic Walking to cycling, running to Tai Chi and Yoga, there is something for everyone.

The Activate Coast and Greenspace brochure show you all the activities you can join.

To request a hard copy of the brochure or if you have any questions about the Activate Coast and Greenspace programme, please get in touch.

Health and Activity Team

You can access free easy ten minute work outs from Public Health England or try other exercise videos at home on the NHS Fitness Studio. Sport England also has tips for keeping active at home.