Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Being active with a health condition

Most health conditions are helped by being physically active.

This includes chronic (long-term) conditions, such as:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • cancer
  • asthma
  • osteoporosis
  • back pain
  • dementia
  • anxiety and depression

Moderate activity with a health condition

Be as active as you can be. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on 5 days a week.

Start small. Do 10 minutes and gradually build up to 30 minutes.

You'll know it's moderate activity if it:

  • makes you breathe faster
  • raises your heart rate
  • makes you feel warmer

When to talk to your GP

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP before you start increasing your physical activity if you have:

  • a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or osteoarthritis
  • symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, dizziness or joint pain

They can help you set realistic goals that take into account your level of activity, symptoms and medicine.

If any of the exercises are causing you pain or discomfort, stop and get medical advice.

Exercise videos

Our physiotherapists have created some exercise videos that you can do at home.

They are suitable for adults living with chronic conditions.

10-minute exercise videos

45-minute exercise videos

Page last reviewed: 30 January 2023
Next review due: 30 January 2026