Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more.
Regular physical activity has a direct effect on reducing cancer risk. It's also key to helping you to control your weight. Aim to build more activity into your every day routine.
Try our quiz to see if you are physically active enough for good health and lower cancer risk!
Maximise your 30 minutes
- Set short-term goals
If you currently do 15 minutes of daily physical activity, gradually build it up to 20 minutes, and so on. Then set a goal of steadily increasing your distance, such as reaching a new landmark on your walk or cycle ride every fortnight.
- Make sure you are doing moderate, rather than light, activity.
You can measure the intensity of your workout on a scale of one to 10, where one equals ‘no exertion’ and 10 equals ‘maximum effort’. How fast your heart is beating and how warm you feel can be used as a guide. For moderate activity, you should be working at around a level four.
A second option is the ‘talk test’, where, although breathing harder than normal, you should still be able to carry on a conversation. When your fitness improves you can aim for more vigorous activity.
- Begin and end activity at a slower pace so your body has time to warm up and cool down
If you can, especially at the end when your muscles are warm, do some stretches to increase flexibility.
- Regularly break up your workout with an 'interval' activity
For example, during a walk, stride at a faster pace for a minute or two, and then recover by walking more slowly for two minutes. This will help when hurrying to catch a bus!
You don’t have to do all of your daily 30 minutes of physical activity in one go. You can also break it into shorter spurts of exercise throughout the day which offer health benefits too. Check out our 15-minute exercise section for more ideas to fit physical activities into your daily routine.