Physical Activity

What should you know about physical activity?

Exercising can help you to manage your weight. Physical activity burns up calories and so helps to create a healthy energy balance. Exercise is essential for everyone for maintaining a healthy weight. Regular physical activity, therefore, helps to prevent overweight and obesity, which, in turn, lowers the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)

Physical does not just have physical benefits. Mentally, it can help to lift your mood, reduce stress, prevent or improve depression and prevent the onset of dementia.

It is therefore vital that you maintain a good level of physical activity no matter what your age is, as it has benefits throughout your life. It is recommended that you do 150 minutes of physical activity over 5 days each week. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout and you can find ways to fit physical activity into your daily routine – it may be as simple as walking to and from the shops.

Where can you go?

The council's website provides links to a range of leisure services in the area some of which you can book online.  Our Community Map will also help you find out what clubs, groups, activities or events are near you to help you "Get Active", although a sampe is listed here.

  • If you are suffering from a long term health condition and would like to learn how to be physically active without causing further harm, your GP can refer you to the Bracknell Forest Activate Health Scheme. The 12 week scheme introduces you to physical activity and shows you the benefits of regular exercise. For further information please visit Activate Health Scheme and fill in an enquiry form.
  • The East Berkshire Rambler’s group offers the opportunity to join a group of people who take part in walks throughout the East Berkshire area on Wednesdays and Sundays. For further information please visit the East Berkshire Ramblers’ website.
  • The Bracknell Forest U3A walking group has two walks a month and range from 4-5 miles to 7-8 miles.
  • Bracknell Leisure Centre offers a range of physical activities and facilities for all ages. Three swimming pools, more than 60 BodyBeats fitness classes every week, the BodyWorks gym (also offering TeenWorx sessions for years 7 to 11) and the option to hire courts and pitches means that there is something for everyone. Each sections lists prices separately.
  • Get Berkshire Active is a charity dedicated to delivering improved sporting and physical activity for all. It allows you to search for sports and clubs that are available within and around Bracknell Forest.

Exercise for people with long term conditions

If you have a long term health condition and would like to learn how to be physically active without causing further harm, your GP can refer you to the Bracknell Forest Activate Health Scheme. The 12 week scheme introduces you to physical activity and shows you the benefits of regular exercise. For further information please visit the Activate Health Scheme web pages.

Exercise and activities for people over 50

  • Fit for Life offer classes for the over 50’s. These include yoga, swimming, zumba, dance, badminton, short tennis, racquetball, squash, table tennis, keep fit, short mat bowls and splash fit. This is located at the Bracknell Leisure Centre.
  • Age UK Berkshire offer Active Living classes around Berkshire.

Contact details for local services