Exercise and fitness

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that we do at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day.

While regular exercise will help keep you in shape, it also keeps you mentally and emotionally healthy. Keeping fit is proven to help reduce anxiety, stress and depression, and research suggests that exercise can improve the symptoms of mild depression and even prevent a relapse.

Being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. It can boost self-esteem, improve quality of sleep and enhance your mood and energy.

Exercise can also reduce the risk of developing certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and colon cancer (by up to 50%), while depression, dementia and early death can be reduced by up 30%.

Find out more information about the benefits of exercise.

By making exercise part of daily life, it is easier to maintain fitness levels, so consider cycling or walking to work, or get off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. Taking the stairs wherever you can is a simple way to increase your step count and get your heart pumping.

Exercise can be accessible to everyone, but you should always make sure you do so safely, so keep the following in mind:

  • Start slowly and increase gradually
  • Stop if you have any pain, especially chest pain or severe problems breathing, and speak with your doctor
  • Do not overdo things, start with simple exercises, such as walking, cycling, swimming or jogging
  • Warm up your muscles by doing some simple stretches before exercise
  • Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes by doing some simple stretches after exercise
  • Remember to drink water before, during and after exercise

If you have mobility issues or back problems, you can still do exercise such as chair-based workouts and stretches, which will help you maintain your fitness and muscle strength.

There are many useful resources online to help you start your fitness journey at your own pace, with simple exercise videos and workout sessions, or find an exercise or fitness class near to you.

If you have any concerns, you should talk with your doctor before doing any exercise or activity.

Resources to support exercise and fitness

Find a class or fitness centre near you:

Increase your activity with the following support:

Keep yourself safe with the following support:

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Staff can use the Vivup EAP service to speak to a trained counsellor 24/7, 365 days a year. To access the support line, call 0330 380 0658 and mention you are LJMU staff or visit the website.