When you are getting started with sport or exercise it can be hard to know where to start. To overcome this here are a list of websites and resources that should help you to make that important first step to becoming more active. Click on the blue headings to be taken to their website for more information.
If you are looking to start running I would highly recommend using Couch to 5k. It is a plan created by the NHS which guides you for 9 weeks from being a complete beginner to running a 5k non-stop. With three runs/walks a week it is manageable for anyone and each week can be repeated as many times as you want until you feel comfortable with it. It is available to download as a podcast so all you need to do is put in your headphones and follow the instructions it provides and your fitness levels will improve in no time.
For anyone who is looking to start running I would also recommend Parkrun. They are an organisation that provides free, timed 5k runs every Saturday morning across a wide range of locations. Parkrun events are open to anyone from complete beginners to competitive athletes and are incredibly friendly and supportive. Many also offer a shorter Junior Parkrun option so your children can take part, although children are also welcome to run the 5k event. There is often the option of meeting for a coffee at a local café after the run, which is a great way to meet new, like-minded people. All you need to do is register on their website, get a barcode, turn up, run and get a recorded time which you can view online which is an easy way to see your progress over time.
This Girl Can is a campaign created by Sport England and funded by The National Lottery which aims to get women and girls from all backgrounds doing physical activities. Their website contains lots of information on a whole range of ways to increase your activity levels from cycling to exercising with your baby to wheelchair sports.
If you are looking for a beginner friendly first race, look no further than Race for Life. Open for men as well as women for the first time in 2019 it offers more than 150 5k races across the country. These are the most supportive, beginner friendly races you are ever likely to find and so are a great place to start. You will be organised into groups of walkers, jogger and runners beforehand so you will always be with people of your pace. Children can also take part, making them great for getting the whole family exercising together. If you want an extra challenge some venues offer a 10k event and there are also Pretty Muddy obstacle course races available. As they are organised by Cancer Research UK you will be raising money for a fantastic cause as well increasing your own fitness.
Part of England Athletics, RunTogether is a community which provides a range of organised runs lead by qualified group leaders. They are a great place to start if you want to get into running but don’t feel comfortable going on your own and also offer a fantastic social element to keep you motivated. Many of the runs are free and there are a range of different ability options so there should be something for everyone. There is an app available where you can search for runs and get offers from RunTogether partners.
Daily Life is an initiative which aims to get children in school and nursery out of their classrooms and running for 15 minutes each day. The idea is that this will increase the fitness, mental health and concentration of these children whilst getting them in the habit of daily exercise. There is information on their website for parents and teachers wanting to get their children involved.
We Are Undefeatable is a campaign which is partnered with different charities such as Age UK and The Stroke Association and aims to get people with long term health conditions into exercise. Their website contains lots of information on how to get started in different sports and activities, with links to different websites for more information.
If you are wanting to start swimming, cycling or running and want to sign up to a race as a way to stay motivated then Find a race is the website for you. It is an easy to navigate website with listings of thousands of races. You can search by sport, geographical location, date, distance etc. to find the perfect race for you.