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Exercise and sport


Exercising is vital to staying healthy, and looking after your body. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart diseasestroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%, and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Exercise is good for mental as well as physical well-being. Regular exercise can help to reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.

No matter what your age or level of fitness, there's an exercise activity for you. Perhaps walking in a park or nature reserve, playing team sports like bowls or football, lifting weights in the gym, joining in a dance or aerobics class, or doing light exercises designed especially for people with health problems. You can do a little or a lot. 

Exercise is often free and easy to do, and can have immediate benefits.

The NHS Choices website has lots of useful information and ideas on exercise.

Active Essex, the county sports partnership (CSP) has recently announced a new four year plan to tackle issues around inactivity and change 1 million lives by getting Essex active.  You can read more about this news story here.

Active Essex lists local sports and fitness events going on in your area. To add a new event to their site contact


Playing a sport can be a fun way to do some exercise, get fit and healthy, and meet other people.

Active Essex have a Sport and Activity Finder which allows you to search for a wide range of sports facilities, clubs, and venues in your area..

You can find information about local leisure centres, sports and fitness facilities on your local council sport and leisure pages:

Sport, exercise and disability

People with disabilities and health problems can find the idea of taking up sport and exercise daunting, or assume that it is not something that they can get involved in. You should always check with your doctor about what is safe and realistic for you, but even if you need a wheelchair to get around, there are exercises you can do.  

Many of the sports clubs and leisure centres in your local area will have enhanced access arrangements for people with disabilities, and will provide activities and sports targeted at people with disabilities.

The ecdp (formerly the Essex Coalition of Disabled People) provide valuable information and support for people with a disability.

Leonard Cheshire Disability have produced a guide called Get Into Sport for people with disabilities.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the national charity and body for disabled people in sport, and physical activity throughout England.

Sport England provide information on sports opportunities for people with disabilities.

Disability Sports Coach provide sporting opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the UK.

Scope provide information on disability sport and fitness.

UK Deaf Sport aims to encourage deaf people to participate, to enjoy and to excel at sport. 

The NHS Choices website provide advice on getting fit and losing weight for people who use a wheelchair.

Other information and advice

For specific advice, information and guidance on how technology can help transform your fitness, visit our page Technology for health.

The Change4Life website provides lots of information and suggestions on exercise and activities for people of all ages and abilities, and helps you to search for activities in your area.

Walking for Health is England's largest network of health walk schemes, helping all kinds of people to lead a more active lifestyle.

Age UK offer information and advice on keeping fit.

The British Heart Foundation's Get Active and Stay Active leaflet is one of several which they have produced with advice on taking exercise and staying fit and healthy.

The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about the benefits of exercise.

Essex Libraries have some useful booklists you may be interested in called Exercise and Essex Walks.

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