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Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer. People who are physically active may also lower their risk of breast, endometrial (lining of the womb), lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.


Being active can also help to prevent heart disease and diabetes, as well as maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese is also a risk factor for several major cancers.


In addition, physical activity can help you feel better by giving you more energy and vitality. The environment can benefit from your activity too if you leave your car at home and walk or cycle!

How Much Exercise Should I Be Doing?

The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend:


  • Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience

  • Be active every day in as many ways as you can

  • Put together at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (like walking) on most, if not every day of the week.

  • You should also undertake some regular vigorous exercise, if you can, for added health and fitness.

Tips for Being More Active
  • Go for a stroll at lunchtime.

  • Have some active fun such as bike riding, ball games or join a sporting team.

  • Walk with a friend or join a walking group.

  • Take a dancing class.

  • Try an exercise class at the gym.


Don’t forget that being more active in everyday tasks can increase your overall level of physical activity too! This is called incidental activity and it can help to significantly increase the number of steps you do each day and the amount of energy you burn (which in turn helps maintain your body weight).


  • Take the stairs, not the lift.

  • Get off the bus/train one stop earlier and walk.

  • Walk over and talk to your colleagues instead of sending an email.

  • Park further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.

  • While watching television, do some simple stretching exercises.

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