Cardiff Half Marathon

As part of the 2022 #ChooseYou campaign, Cardiff University are exploring self-care and the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – all relevant to running and the journey to the Cardiff Half start line.

Take a look at the content below, or go back to our summary page to explore other topics.

Be Active

Pandemic lockdowns have deprived many of us of our normal levels of activity, resulting in a general decline in our wellbeing. This is unsurprising: there is very strong evidence that being physically active is good for you.

Defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure’, regular physical activity can:

  • Improve muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness;
  • Improve bone and functional health;
  • Reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer), and depression;
  • Reduce the risk of falls as well as hip or vertebral fractures; and
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight.

Be Active, another of the evidence-based Five Ways to Wellbeing, is what psychologists call a ‘protective factor’ – it’s a fantastic, proactive self-care activity that makes you more resilient in the short and long-term. It’s another way you can Choose You.

With WHO and Public Health England (PHE) data suggesting that both adults and adolescents aren’t getting enough physical activity, the key is getting started and making your activity sustainable. Whether it’s running, walking, cycling, lifting weights, yoga, swimming, dancing, gardening, playing in the park with your children, tidying up, or something else, the ‘secret’ is to discover activities that you genuinely enjoy (at least most of the time) and can sustain.


  • Unless you’re a performance focused athlete, make being active a healthy pursuit – as a rough guide, about 80% of your activity time should be easy. Occasional, higher intensity activity is okay, but don’t overwhelm yourself and turn being active into something your brain looks to avoid. PHE’s ‘One You’ physical activity campaign promotes just 10 minutes of daily continuous brisk walking.
  • Enjoy being active – turn it into ‘play’, so you’re more likely to be consistent. Be active with others. Join in with your kids. Try something you haven’t done before. Join Parkrun (you can walk it!). Do a Couch to 5K programme. Find a fun challenge to keep you motivated. How about entering the Cardiff Half Marathon?
  • Keep moving! Being active means getting your muscles firing and expending energy. Every little moment of activity really does help. Try to notice when you’ve been sedentary and then move. Stand up. Stretch. Walk to another room. Go and cwtch your dog or cat. Visit a colleague. Step outside. Try to imitate Usain Bolt’s ‘Bolting’ pose. Or, standing upright, chest lifted, head held high, spread your arms wide in a power pose and notice how good it feels (do this now!). Have a quick dance in the kitchen or your office! The important thing is that you move. It’s good for you!
  • Try to ensure that your activity and its intensity are appropriate to your current fitness level. If you’re starting out or you have any health concerns, always speak to your GP.

You can find further guidance on being active, including recommendations on how much physical activity to take, on the NHS Livewell website.

Go back to our summary page to explore other topics that are part of this series.

Join the conversation on social media. Share your own tips and experiences by using the hashtag #ChooseYou on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.