Enjoy more active drink-free days
Here are a few suggestions of things you can try on your own, as part of a team and with friends or family to be active on a drink-free day.
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Trying a new activity is a great way to enjoy more Drink Free Days each week and supercharge the benefits to your health cutting down on alcohol brings. And it doesn't have to involve expensive equipment or lots of planning.
On your next drink-free day why don't you give walking a try? What's great about walking is you don't need much to get started. Just yourself, as little as 10 minutes and the outdoors. You can easily integrate it in your day too; on your walk to work or back home, to the shops, whatever works for you. See how exercise can be made easy with the Active 10 app.
Simply walking briskly for 10 minutes counts as exercise! And more is better for you, of course.
Taking up jogging can be as easy as adding a little jog at the end of each power walk. It can help you lose weight and improve the health of your heart and lungs. Not only that, being active is good for your mental health - and all you need is a pair of trainers! Why not try the Couch to 5k running plan for beginners? It's a simple guide to help you start running.
And if you're already an experienced runner or have just achieved your 5k, why not give your local Parkrun a try? Every Saturday morning at 9am in parks throughout the UK, Parkrun organise free 5km runs that are open to all abilities, shapes, and sizes. Use the interactive map online to find your nearest parkrun.
Did you know that swimming has loads of benefits beyond keeping you fit? Not only is 30 mins of gentle breaststroke good exercise but swimming, like all forms of physical activity, is also shown to help lower stress levels and can help improve your sleep quality. Start with one length, catch your breath, start again and see how many you can build up to. See all the benefits of swimming and find your local pool with Just Swim.
Walking football is a great way to enjoy many of the benefits of football, without the risk of injury. Up and down the country men and women are lacing up their boots and falling back in love with the beautiful game. It's played up to 6 a-side on 3G or artificial turf with specific rules to slow the game down and it's a great way to make some new friends!
Playing football has loads of possible health benefits from lowering blood pressure to improving posture!
Cycling is a great mode of transport and also an easy way to get fit. As a low impact form of activity, cycling reduces your risk of injury as it's kind on your joints. Not only is it good for your body, there's a great social side and cycling, as well as being outdoors, is good for your mental health too. All you need is a bike, a helmet and the roads are yours! If you don’t own a bike, why not try renting a city bike for the day?*
Exercise classes are a really simple way to have fun and keep fit. Because they're led by an instructor, you don't have to think too much, just turn up and enjoy yourself. There are loads of different types of classes, too, from dance to water workouts, so you can find the one that suits you best. Not only that, you'll be doing the class with like-minded people just like you, so it's a great place to socialise and make friends.
It's never too late to dust off your dancing shoes! The UK's oldest ballerina is 81 years old and started ballet classes again in her 70s, after a 58-year break. Alone, with friends, or with your Drink Free Days teammate, dancing is a fun, sociable way to keep active. There are hundreds of styles to try from 1950's swing dancing, to ballroom dances and salsa classes.
Yoga, a physical and mental practice, that originated in ancient India, focusses on stretching, flexibility and breathing. A great way to unwind and clear your head after a hectic day. With classes from beginners through to pros, yoga helps to build up muscle and mind strength as well as your overall wellbeing.
Think knitting is just for little old ladies, think again! Knitting is having a massive revival and now people of all walks are joining groups and unleashing their creative sides, even Madonna and Russell Crowe are proud knitters! It's social, fun and a great way to unwind, as well as giving you a real feeling of achievement and accomplishment. If you're unsure where to start, joining a knitting group is a great way to give it a go.
Sometimes it feels like there's too much on to stay active, but did you know there's loads of stuff you can integrate into your daily life to help you stay fit and healthy? Simple things like walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift or getting on the trampoline with the kids can make a world of difference. Have you thought about cycling to work or maybe walking a couple more bus stops down the line? It can all add up to a healthier and happier you.
*Drinkaware advises that you consider wearing a helmet, in line with the Highway Code.
Arming yourself with strategies and tips can help you or a loved one take small steps towards big results.