10 ways we showed you to get fit in 2014

Whatever your current fitness level, we are here to help you to have a healthy heart. From standing up more often to badminton to unusual team sports, here are a range of ways we've showed you to get fit in 2014 - so why not pick something that suits you?      

1. Go from zero to hero

From office worker to active BHF hero

We started off 2014 by encouraging you to be active. Physical activity is vital, especially to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. But to see results from exercise, it’s important to keep it up.

Start your activity slowly and have something to aim for are still top tips if you want to begin 2015 by going from zero to hero.

Read more about how to take up exercise

2. Exercising with resistance bands

Resistance bands

While aerobic exercise (the kind that makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster) is the best for helping your heart, it’s also recommended that you do muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week.

Luckily, resistance bands can help make your muscles stronger. All you need is an inexpensive resistance band (a bit like a large elastic band).

Many of the exercises can be done while seated, making elastic bands suitable for people with limited mobility.  

Read more about exercising with resistance bands

3. How team sports can benefit you

David Webb Team sports are the perfect formula for overcoming workout laziness. “If you’re doing something on your own, it’s easy to skip a session,” says BHF Physical Activity Specialist Lisa Purcell.

Not only do team sports double the fun, but they can also provide friendship and support, as Dave and Lydia have found after they were diagnosed with a heart condition. 

It’s never too late to take up a team sport and enjoy all its benefits. Start by visiting this page to find a sport team near you. 

Read more about how playing a sport can help you keep fit

4. Why badminton is a great way to keep you active

Lynn YoungBadminton is a great way for everyone to get active. It only requires a pair of trainers, a racket and a shuttlecock. The rules are easy to learn, and it can be played by people of all ages and abilities, whatever the weather.

Lynn Young, a former physical education teacher, reveals how badminton has helped her to cope with her diagnosis of coronary heart disease. Now Lynn recommends volunteering to everyone. Plus, don’t miss our 10 things you never knew about badminton.

See why badminton is a great way to keep you active

5. Are you sitting down too much?

A couple sitting and reading on a sofa

If you’re reading this while sitting comfortably on your sofa or a chair, why not take a few minutes to get up and walk around. Keeping moving is vital to avoid sedentary behaviour, which can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

Even if we do exercise regularly, too much sitting down can still damage our health, not just physically but mentally too. 

Read more about how to stand up for a healthier life

6. How a walking group can help you to get moving

Gary Glazerman

Gary Glazerman, 60, is living proof that a walking group can give you the kick-start you need to get active. Joining a walking group helped him go from being clinically obese to taking part in a 100km walk to raise money for us.

Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, meet new people or just fancy some fresh air, why not give it a go?

Read how joining a walking group could help you to get moving

7. 10 strange team sports

Water polo playersMaybe you rather exercise by yourself because you still haven’t found a favourite team sport. But, have you look any further out? From Sepak Takraw to Muggle Quidditch, the sporting possibilities out there go far beyond football and hockey.

Whether you’re looking to increase your fitness, add sparkle to your social life or both, our pick of team sports from the UK and beyond could be just the inspiration you need.

10 team sports that you'd never have thought to try

8. How cycling helped a cabbie to change his lifestyle

Sean Moran fighting fit

Taxi driver Sean Moran had his heart attack at the age of 40. Since then his lifestyle has changed for the better and cycling has played a key role in that. Before the heart attack he didn’t even own a bike and a year after it, he set a target to do Lap the Lough, a 90-mile bike ride.

Now he still cycles four times a week, covering 20 to 25 miles each time, and feels better than ever.

Read more about how Sean Moran changed his lifestyle

9. Getting fit for a great cause

Barrie Howes in PeruMost of us know that being active is vital for our wellbeing. But if you can help other people at the time, it’s even more rewarding. From scaling Mount Everest to crossing deserts, in the past 20 years fundraisers have raised more than £10 million for BHF research through our World Experiences programme.

Feel inspired by Barrie Howes, 51, one of long-standing BHF supporter who had surgery on his aorta in 2006. Two years later, he trekked to Machu Picchu, followed by Everest Base Camp in 2012 and the Sahara Desert in February this year.

Don’t miss our World Experiences infographic

Read more stories and find out how to get involved

10. How Heart Support Groups can help

People exercising at a Heart Support Group

Heart problems can knock you down, but local Heart Support Groups help you get back on your feet and forge life-long friendships. Many Heart Support Groups run exercise classes which are specially designed for heart patients.

A Heart Support Group helped Robin Brown, who suffered from a heart attack, to get back to his previous lifestyle. Eighteen years after his heart attack, Robin, now 71, is still a very active member of the BHF-affiliated Heart Support Group.

Find out more about Heart Support Groups

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