Active with a health condition

Health ConditionsYou should talk with your doctor about being active if you have a chronic health condition like arthritis, COPD, diabetes or heart disease. Your condition may limit your ability to be active in some way, and you may need to work with your doctor to come up with a physical activity plan that matches your abilities.

They may prescribe a Green Prescription which gives personalised support and motivation to help you increase your physical activity levels. This free service provides the guidance to get started and get active, whether you are new or returning to physical activity.

Try to do as much as you can if your condition stops you from meeting the recommended daily activity levels. What's important is that you avoid being inactive. Even just 60 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is good for you.

Find out about getting active with a disability or neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and MS, or recovery from a stroke.

What to consider when starting to get active

You might be unsure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you're afraid of getting hurt. The good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity is generally safe for most people, like brisk walking.

Start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity. Cardiac events like heart attacks are rare during physical activity. However the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual. For example you can put yourself at risk if you don't usually get much physical activity and then all of a sudden do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Check out the Getting started page for some tips.

Use the Greater Christchurch Sport and Recreation Guide to find a local group or class to help you get started and begin achieving your activity goals.

New water exercise sheets available

​Four new water-based exercise sheets to assist people with health conditions can be downloaded from the HealthInfo website. The exercises can help with pain reduction, joint mobility, overall fitness, feeling happier, and make it easier to do everyday activities.

You could do these exercises or use the sheets at your own pool or at the local public pool. Laminated copies of the water-based exercise sheets are available at the following Christchurch City Council Pools and Recreation centres:

  • Pioneer;
  • Graham Condon;
  • Jellie Park; and
  • Taiora QEII.
Contacts for support and advice

There are many great organisations both regionally and nationally that can provide you with relevant information about your health condition and ideas on  how to get more active.