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Physical activity - even if it's only walking to the shops or cycling with the kids - can help manage current and future health problems including heart disease and musculoskeletal conditions, and is proven to aid mental health.

Whatever your age you don't have to be an elite athlete to gain real benefits from regular exercise. In this section you'll find some of the easiest ways to get involved in physical activity and maybe even make new friends by doing something you'll enjoy.

 

Unsure where to start? Help is at hand

sailing manYou can take a 10 minute quiz and get a personalized health score via the One You website. You can also download their apps including Active10 to kickstart your personal fitness journey with short, brisk walks, before taking it furtherOlder residents may even be able to access discounted courses - check your local council's website.

The NHS Health and Fitness page holds a wealth of helpful information, from guidlines on exercise levels to fitness plans and running programmes.  Healthy Surrey has similar information with a local slant

If you're just looking for a new pastime or class check out our sport pages for details of individual sports, or use our Activity Finder to find a club near you - some offer free taster sessions. For general exercise and advice tips (alphabetised), read on, or see our health and wellbeing page.

Change 4 Life

Change4Life is a national, TV-promoted campaign full of ideas to get everyone in your family eating well and moving more. If you're looking for a fun way to get younger children away from the TV (or you're a secret 'Frozen' or 'Cars' fan...), check out their Disney-inspired Shake Ups for 10 minute activities that really add up.

Cycling and cycle schemes

Taking to two wheels can be a great exercise for all the family - or you can go nuts and throw yourself down a muddy forest track or tackle the Surrey hills on a road bike. Surrey Travel Smart has maps and details of local cycle routes as well as the sustrans national cycle network. If you're female you can also take advantage of HSBC Breeze which sees free rides organised and accompanied by experienced ride leaders.

Bike2Work is a Government cycle to work scheme that saves employees up to 42% on bike purchases once an employer has registered.

Disability sport

Please see our inclusive sport page

Falls prevention

Simple, low impact exercises to improve balance can dramatically reduce the likelyhood of having a fall. Many boroughs now run weekly classes (sometimes referred to as Otago) for those at risk.

Leisure centres

Your local borough or district website will have details of centres near you,which will include dance and exercise classes as well as sport facilities.

Outdoor gyms

You may have seen these dotted around the county. For locations near you, try searching under 'sport' or 'leisure' on your local council's website.

Running

Every week parkrun welcome hundreds of people just like you to 5km events around the county. There are even 2km routes for children (which are staffed with enough marshals to allow kids to run with or without parents). Once you're registered - for free - you just need to turn up to run or walk the route and you'll be sent your time automatically.

parkuns take place in or near Guildford, Woking, Frimley Lodge, Ottershaw, Redhill, Cranleigh and Farnham (as well as nearby Farnborough, Horsham, Crawley, Coulsdon and Riddlesdown).

If you need inspiration - or can't make it to an organised run and prefer to go it alone or with a friend - check out Public Health England's "Couch to 5k" programme.

Swimming

A low-impact way to clock up some exercise, with classes usually available via your local leisure centre if you want to improve or learn from scratch, or do a water based exercise class.

Walking

For a gentle way to improve your fitness, de-stress, or just meet others, try 'Walking for Health' - short, easy group walks organised and supported by friendly, trained volunteers.

For spur of the moment, self-guided walks at your own pace check out the 'Explore Surrey Collection' - a website and app which you can take along with you.

Workplace health

Keeping employees active is essential for a healthy and happy workforce - and will pay dividends in the long run. See our workplace health page for what's available

Keep up to date

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We regularly post updates of offers, ideas and events on our Facebook and Twitter pages: www.facebook.com/activesurrey and www.twitter.com/activesurrey. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter for news, events and activities of interest across the county.