Regular exercise improves resilience, strength and flexibility, promotes better sleep, reduces stress and depression, and increases energy and alertness.
It also helps to lose weight, builds immunity and protects against common health problems.
If you have a health condition, make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Starting a new exercise program is probably the most difficult part:
Walking is one of the best and easiest exercises and is a great way to get started.
Walking as little as 20 minutes a day, three times a week, can be beneficial. If you can't get away regularly, try to work walking into your daily routine - walk to the shops, to the station, around the block or in the park with a friend.
Try walking a little faster than you normally do. If you work up a sweat and feel your heart working you have increased the benefit.
Yoga is designed for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Your instructor will help you to work at your own pace, listening to your body and gradually encourage it to stretch and strengthen.
Check out your local community centre, local directory or council to find out where classes are held. Many yoga studios have classes for all ages and abilities so you can find a group that suits you.
Swimming is a gentle exercise which you can take at your own pace. You can schedule time to swim laps by yourself, or your local swim centre or gym may offer programs like aqua-aerobics.
For those prepared for a greater challenge, cycling can improve your fitness and help you to get around. If you don’t feel comfortable cycling on busy roads, check out your city council for details of cycling paths in your area.
Join a gym
Gyms often have cheap rates for people who want to exercise at non-peak times or for people over the age of 50.
They offer a wide range of classes to suit all ages and abilities – pilates, aerobics, circuit training, weight training, or (for the more energetic) step classes or Boxercise.
Many gyms can offer a fitness assessment and advice on the best programs for your age and level of fitness when you take up a membership.
Find an alternative that suits you
Any activity that gets your heart pumping and your body moving can be beneficial - try gardening, bushwalking, golf, table tennis, martial arts, tai chi, ballroom, swing or Latin dancing!
Keeping up motivation after the first rush of enthusiasm can be difficult. Sometimes it can be hard to keep yourself on track:
Ask your local community centre, gym or council for information about activities in your area
Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.