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National Fitness Day – 21st September

Almost half of our country’s population has at least one long-term health condition, National Fitness Day 2022 is an opportunity to start new habits that will promote good health. Physical activity has the ability to bring people together and to positively impact on all of our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Therefore this awareness day celebrates how a huge range of activities can be enjoyed by participants of all ages and backgrounds.

Exercise can reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions by as much as 40%. However, people who already have a long-term health condition or a disability are more likely to be inactive. Sport England is keen to change this statistic, particularly as there is a growing body of evidence that 20+ chronic conditions can be better managed with moderate exercise. These conditions include:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Mental health problems
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Obesity

Sport England has been collaborating with a number of health charities to try and encourage people with disabilities and chronic health conditions to be more active. National Fitness Day 2022 is an excellent time for you to take advantage of the various activities that will be available.

Breaking down barriers

Research has shown that the main barriers for people with long-term health conditions and disabilities are linked to confidence, motivation, time and energy. Many feel that they do not know how to become more active and need some advice. Of course, certain conditions present their own barriers, such as making it hard to stick to a routine or concern that certain activities could make the condition worse.

Though all health conditions are different, the greatest barrier to committing to being more active is that managing conditions on a day-to-day basis can be unpredictable. For this reason, it is important to celebrate small victories. Taking the first steps is something to be celebrated, and National Fitness Day could be the time to do it!

Always consult your doctor before taking on a new kind of activity – it’s important to ensure that activity is safe for you.

How can I get involved?

The simplest way to take part in National Fitness Day is to get involved with the 10@10 initiative. This was launched by the organisers of the day, and it encourages people to do 10 minutes of physical activity at 10am on the 21st September.

Digital workouts are a great way to do this. There are many resources online where you can find short workouts aimed at people with different health conditions or disabilities. Try searching “Workouts for…” on YouTube, entering your specific condition, and see what comes up.


Cycling is a great way to get active and there are opportunities out there that make it more accessible. Specially-designed bikes are available at some clubs to enable people with mobility issues to ride. These clubs will have sessions for people of different ability levels so you’re sure to find one that is a good fit for you.


Popular sports like football, cricket and rugby have variations for seniors, the visually impaired, the wheelchair-bound and just about anyone else you can imagine. If playing sports is appealing, look for clubs and events that offer accessible varieties of your chosen game. After the popularity of the Paralympic Games has surged in recent years, you may be surprised at how many options are available!


Many public buildings, leisure centres and social hubs offer activity classes for the differently abled. There are wheelchair yoga classes, aerobics for different disabilities, swimming lessons and aqua-exercise classes aimed at certain health conditions. Look to local community places like those listed above for classes you can take part in.


There are many outdoor gyms in public parks as well as those in leisure centres and dedicated indoor gyms. The outdoor variety doesn’t typically require a membership, and there are often initiatives to provide instructors at these locations. If you wish to get a gym membership, there are often options to access support and take part in classes to help you learn how the machines work and get workouts tailored to your condition.

There are so many ways for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions to get active. Moreover, the benefits of physical activity are important for enabling you to live and long, healthy life. National Fitness Day 2022 is an excellent opportunity to get started on your own journey. The activities listed above will all have special events to welcome newcomers on 21st September so start looking for an activity that you would like to try out. You just might enjoy some surprising health benefits and even make some new friends

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