It is important to remain sociable, as loneliness can be bad for your health. Friends and family are an important part of happiness and it has recently been discovered that friendship could actually help us live longer.

Walking is a great way to get fit and stay healthy. 

Regular walking brings many benefits for your physical and mental health – it’s good for your heart and lungs, can ease stress and anxiety, raise energy levels, and improve sleep.  It will also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis.

To get the full health benefits, it is recommended that you take at least 10,000 steps a day.  It is easy to make walking part of your daily routine.  For example, you could walk to your local shops instead of driving, get off the bus one stop early and walk; or take a walk in your lunch hour.  Walking for Health supports over 600 local schemes offering free, regular short walks with trained walk leaders particularly aimed at people who don’t take much exercise.  For details of health walk scheme in your areas go to ‘activities and events’ section of this website.

Cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK, with an estimated 3.1 million people riding a bicycle each month.

It is on of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine becuase it's also a form of transport - so as well as getting you fit, cycling will save you money and ontrivute to a cleaner environment.  It is a low-impact exercise, so it's easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities, but it still helps you get into shape.

For example, someone who weighs 80kg (12.6 stones) will burn more than 650 calories with an hour's riding, as well as tone their legs and bottom.  If you ride up hills or off-road, you will also work your upper body.

There are various activities that you can join across Hartlepool that will help you get out and about, be socially active and healthy.

These activities and groups can be found in our Support Finder.