A few ideas

There are lots of ways you can get those few minutes more, here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Time yourself walking to the shops, then next time you go, try to get there and back a little quicker.

    Time yourself walking to the shops, then next time you go, try to get there and back a little quicker.

  • Pick up 2 baskets at the supermarket rather than a trolley.

    Pick up 2 baskets at the supermarket rather than a trolley.

  • Seek out the stairs at your office whenever possible instead of the lift.

    Seek out the stairs at your office whenever possible instead of the lift.

  • Turn up the music and dance while you vacuum.

    Turn up the music and dance while you vacuum.

  • Organise a Garden Olympics for your children or the children in your street.

    Organise a Garden Olympics for your children or the children in your street.

  • Find a farm where you can pick your own fruit.

    Find a farm where you can pick your own fruit.

  • Take advantage of TV time. While you watch, do stretches or marches. During advert breaks do star jumps, squats or sprints on the spot.

    Take advantage of TV time. While you watch, do stretches or marches. During advert breaks do star jumps, squats or sprints on the spot.

  • Give the kitchen and bathroom floor a good scrubbing.

    Give the kitchen and bathroom floor a good scrubbing.

  • At work, suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.

    At work, suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.

  • Stand while talking on the telephone (and maybe do a stretch or two).

    Stand while talking on the telephone (and maybe do a stretch or two).

  • Don’t let parks and playgrounds be just for kids. Catch up with friends in the local park.

    Don’t let parks and playgrounds be just for kids. Catch up with friends in the local park.

  • Bike to your local paper shop instead of having your newspaper delivered

    Bike to your local paper shop instead of having your newspaper delivered

  • Wash your car by hand instead of taking it through the car-wash.

    Wash your car by hand instead of taking it through the car-wash.

  • Take the dog for a walk - if you haven't got one, borrow a neighbour's!

    Take the dog for a walk - if you haven't got one, borrow a neighbour's!

  • Join your friends for a walk along York's city walls.

    Join your friends for a walk along York's city walls.

  • Do a local history course – then make it come alive by exploring on foot or by bike.

    Do a local history course – then make it come alive by exploring on foot or by bike.

Some more ideas

Why I Should Make Bread t Home!

Besides that scrumptious, mouth-watering smell of freshly baked bread in the morning, the health benefits of making bread at home are outstanding. When I found out all the advantages, I made up my mind that I would not be buying bread from the shops any time soon unless it was absolutely necessary! I didn’t realize how much junk industrial bread required to keep it fresh and on the shelves for longer.

Have you ever wondered how it was possible for bakeries to make thousands of loaves daily to feed the nation? How does the bread always come out so soft and fresh? How does it stay on the shelves for so long? First of all, they have to use a lot of preservatives to extend the shelf life of the bread, which reduces costs for both the bakeries and the retail shops. Secondly, they have to use lower quality grains because these are the only types of grains that are able to take in large amounts of yeast. The excessive amounts of yeast required is to create plenty of air bubbles that create the bread’s soft and light texture. This can only mean one thing; the industrial bread is low in nutritional value and is manipulated in different ways in order to maximize profits. Do you see why it was easy to opt for home-made bread instead?

When it comes to making your own bread at home, the greatest advantage is that you choose your own ingredients! You decide on the nutritional value of your own bread. Whether you want to use highest quality ingredients or the cheapest, is all up to you. You also control the amount of sugar in your bread, as well as control the type of fat to use. The healthier option would be to use healthy unsaturated fats, and if you would like to cut down on other ingredients it is all up to you. The USDA declared that the standard amount of whole grains to ingest daily are 3 oz., which means that you can use whole wheat grain or other types of grains in your bread according to these specifications. This is much healthier than refined white flour. You can even add grains that are high in fatty acids, oats and even nuts to your home-made bread! That means you are in total control of the nutritional value of your bread. One thing you can be sure of is it will be preservative free bread, that doesn’t contain excessive amounts of yeast to increase the shelf life!

Having discovered this, I looked up all the bread machine reviews, and decided to go for the gluten-free bread machine as a healthier option for my family and I. The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is what I selected simply because it has a gluten-free setting, which takes out the stress of trying to work out the correct process of baking found in other bread makers. It is very quiet, and also makes great horizontal loaves! My family has been healthier and has had more energy since we shifted from buying bread to making it ourselves!

  • The good news is that around 70% of people in York are already doing (or nearly doing) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on at least five days a week. Even if you don't realise if, there is a good chance that you're one of them!
  • This is because anything that gets you warm and slightly out of breath counts as exercise, and you don't have to do it all in one go. Short, ten minute bursts throughout the day are enough to get your body feeling the benefits.
  • So if you've already walked briskly to the shops, played with the dog in the park or even vigorously hoovered the house, there's a good chance you're nearly there already! All it takes if just a few minutes miore and this website is full of great ideas to help you get them.

Happy & Healthy

Research shows that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days a week helps your body to relax by getting rid of the stress-causing hormone cortisol.

As well as getting rid of unpleasant stuff, regular exercise also encourages your body to produce endorphins, or ‘happy hormones’. It’s endorphins that give you a bit of a natural high at the end of physical activity.

The benefits of physical activity:

  • More energy
  • Better health
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • more independence in later life
  • Improved body shape
  • Better balance, strength, suppleness and mobility
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced stress

Things to do in York

Find lots of exciting new ways to get a few minutes more in York.

  • City of York Council has developed a new fitness class for those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

    The class starts on Wednesday 28 September from 12.15pm to 1.15pm at the ROKO Gym and costs £3.50 per session. The class is the first community class for COPD patients in York and will involve participants doing a variety of exercises under the supervision of a specialist instructor.

    The COPD class is the latest addition to the council’s HEAL (Health, Exercise, Activity and Lifestyle) programme of activities. It has been designed with support from local GPs, physiotherapists and other health professionals and creates new opportunities for people with specific medical conditions to exercise.

    COPD is a name used to describe a number of conditions where people have difficulty breathing because of long term damage to their lungs. Exercise for

    those with COPD can be difficult as the condition makes it harder to pump oxygen around the body. Someone with COPD can become out of breath quickly, but exercise can help this. By exercising at a lower intensity, and monitoring oxygen levels whilst exercise, lung function and therefore general wellbeing are improved.

    Katie Ellis, Exercise Pathways Officer for City of York Council says “We are really excited to be working with a qualified British Lung Foundation instructor to offer people with COPD the chance to exercise in a safe environment.”

    If you would like more information about the COPD class or you are a health professional interested in signing up to the programme contact Katie Ellis, Exercise Pathways Officer on 01904 553377 or email katie.ellis@york.gov.uk

  • Jiu-Jitsu

    Jiu Jitsu is the ancient, unarmed Japanese martial art of the Samurai. ‘Ju’ can be translated to mean gentle, supple, flexible, yielding and ‘Jitsu’ as art or technique.Today using a system of joint locks, strikes and throws, Jitsu teaches you how to defend yourself from punches, kicks and a variety of weapons.It can help improve fitness, coordination & posture, confidence & self esteem and because you use your aggressor's energy to your own advantage, it's an ideal martial art for everyone - no matter what their size.

    The club in York started in 1997 and since then has been welcoming adults and children to train at their sessions on Monday and Friday evenings, 1900hrs-2100hrs. They train at St Olave’s School, just off Bootham, where men, women and children over 6 are welcome.

    To find out more visit their website at www.yorkjitsu.org.

    A demonstration of Jiu-Jitsu by York Jitsu Club

  • Salsa

    Salsa is a dance style which uses and develops the natural sense of rhythm found in all of us and is a great way to get your 30 minutes a day.

    Lossie and Gareth of Encuentro Latino are central to the Salsa scene in York having taught & performed both locally & internationally in the industry for 12 years now. They are both professionally trained and qualified dancers with a passion for getting more people involved.

    Classes are run for beginners through to advanced at different venues in York so everyone is welcome to come along and join in – no partner needed as they rotate partners in class every few minutes & no pre-booking or special footwear is required at beginners level! Plus they offer themed classes, events and parties. This sounds like a fun way to fitness!

    To find out more visit their website at www.encuentrolatino.co.uk

    The Encuentro Latino Student Performance Group perform the Ran Kan Kan

  • So you've heard of judo and karate, but have you ever heard of Aikido? This Japanese martial art can benefit the health and fitness of everyone, young and old. The Two Rivers Aikido Club in York offers regular training sessions to learn the techniques and body movements originating in the ancient practices of Japan. Improve body strength, flexibility, self-awareness and self-confidence - what's not to like! Click here to find out more.

    Aikido in York

  • Yoga

    The northern days are still very chilly, so we’ve found something to help you hit your 30 minutes a day while keeping you safely indoors (not to mention learning to contort your body into shapes that will amaze and delight your friends!)

    Anna Semlyen has been teaching yoga for fifteen years, and runs classes for everyone. Whether you want to work on weight loss, back care or general yoga techniques, there are sessions throughout the week to suit you and your schedule. There are even Mum and Baby classes, so you can bring along the very little ones.

    To find out more, visit her website at www.yogainyork.co.uk.

    Anna takes us through the 8-way stretch

  • Circle Dance

    We love finding new and exciting ways for you to get your thirty minutes, but we know how scary it can be to try something a bit different. Circle Dance classes are really welcoming and friendly, and the dancing is more about taking part than getting all the moves right, so you don’t need to worry if you’ve never tried it before!

    You’ll be in safe hands with Karen Michaelson, who’s been leading Circle Dance since 1997, and has travelled all over the world learning and teaching new dances. For more information and to get started, visit her website.

    This is the Monday evening Circle Dance in York class, dancing the Transylvanian/Romanian dance, Hodoroaga.

  • Court Sports at the University of York

    It's that time of year when outdoor activities just aren't looking as appealing as they did in the summer. We've got the perfect solution; indoor court sports at the University of York. Choose from badminton, squash, indoor football or tennis, with many of the facilities recently refurbished, including the brand new changing rooms and squash courts. All equipment can be hired and lockers are free.

    To find out more visit www.york.ac.uk/sports.

    Sport at the University of York

  • Octopush

    Never heard of it? Imagine ice hockey with flippers and a snorkel and you’ll have a good idea of what this is about. Played in teams of 6, this is a non contact sport using a pusher to move a puck into the goal. Great fun and great exercise too!

    York Octopush is open to swimmers of all ages and all you need is a swimming costume and towel. The session takes place in the deep end of Yearsley Pool on Saturdays from 3.45 - 4.45pm – juniors use the shallow end at the same time so if you have children why not make it a family activity!?

    To find out more, visit the York Octopush Club's website.

    Members of the Octopush club introduce their November offer

  • Nordic Walking

    Nordic Walking originated out of cross-country skiing as a way of enabling skiers to maintain fitness during the summer months, using specially designed poles to propel the walker along. It’s a great workout for the whole body; improving your cardiovascular fitness, balance, corordination, strength and flexibility and is best enjoyed in groups with your friends!

    Jason Feavers runs a Nordic Walking Group in York, why not give it a try as a fun new way of getting your 30 minutes of activity a day? Visit his website to find out more.

    Jason Feavers gives us an introduction to Nordic Walking

  • Kendo

    Kendo is the art of Japanese sword fencing
. It is practiced using shinai (bamboo swords) with full protective armour, as well as bokken (wooden swords) in kata forms.
 Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.

    You can try it in York at the Do Shin Ken Yu Kai York Kendo Club (which means "the friendly association for improving the spirit and character through using the sword".) The club is open to anyone 16+ and has male and female members of all ages. Members can progress at their own pace in a safe and friendly environment and there is always the pub after practice!

    To give Kendo a try yourself contact Tim Waudby on 07738 709012 or on kendoinyork@yahoo.com.

    Watch a basic practice at the Do Shin Ken Yu Kai club above.

  • Boot Camp

    Want to kick-start your fitness mission? York's Body-Fix Boot Camps are fun and energetic activity sessions at outdoor locations around the city, getting you fit and active without the whistle-wearing drill sergeant demanding push-ups (unless you ask them to of course!)

    The boot camps run from Millenium Bridge, Strensall, North Duffield, Riccall and Brayton, using just the local built and natural environment for short sets of different exercises during the 45 minute sessions. It’s fun, energetic, and highly effective.

    Visit the website to find out more and try a boot camp for yourself.

    Watch a Boot Camp in action above.

  • Zumba

    Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. You can now join the party with classes running all over York. Visit local instructor Marggiori Ariza Navarro's website here to find out more.

    If you are from a business or organisation that offers suitable activities which will help people get those few minutes more then get in touch on info@justafewminutesmore.com and we'll do our best to promote your activities.

    Some basic Zumba steps!

Contact Us

  • We’d like to hear your comments, suggestions and success stories.

    Email: [javascript protected email address]

  • Get in Touch!

Further Things to do in York

There are lots of ways you can reach your 30 minutes a day target in York and we work closely with our partners across the city to arrange the special activities and offers you’ve seen listed above.

Have a look at these organisations for news on more activities taking place in York.

Good News Champions

This is where we thank one of our many Good News Champions for their help and support.

If you are from a business or organisation that offers suitable activities or want to encourage people to get those few minutes more then get in touch here and be part of the Good News.

  • Every month we crown a Good News Champion. We're on the look out for special people who've inspired us with the dedication and fun they bring to staying healthy and helping others do the same. For April, we've picked Jill Perry, a therapeutic dance instructor who's been helping people stay fresh and supple with dance exercises using the Margaret Morris Method for over two decades.

    Jill's colourful life has seen her hop between Australia and the UK and even train as an actress, and she's now busy running classes for older enthusiasts in York. Jill is probably her own best advertisement; at 78 she's still in great shape, and she says that dance therapy has helped keep her body trim and her mind sharp all along. We're really impressed with Jill, and if you are too, why not try out one of her workshops, which are running at York Explore Library on 18th June from 10.30 - 1.00. Keep up the good work Jill!

  • Finding John Shirbon up to his elbows in mud is not unusual these days. Brought up on a farm and a keen rugby player in his younger days, for John being fit and active was a way of life. Now in his early years of retirement, an allotment has given him the opportunity to get back to his roots.

    When a new allotment site opened in Strensall, John volunteered to be site secretary. “I had time on my hands and my gardening experience meant that I could help newer gardeners ‘learn the ropes’. Much of gardening is about doing the right thing at the right time. They are a great group of tenants”.

    John is often found digging to help a fellow tenant in need, and he would much prefer to work in his allotment than spend time in the gym. All this working together encourages more gardeners to spend more time in their gardens, keeping fit and enjoying the food they produce. We think that makes John more than worthy to take our spot of April Good News champion.

  • Our champion for this month is the multi-talented Angela Shepherd. Angela spends her time working as a wellness coach helping people feel healthier with personalised nutritional plans and exercise advice. She's helped loads of people to get their thirty minutes, and that's why we think she's great. When she's keeping fit in her own time Angela enjoys cycling and running, and even the cold winter weather hasn't put her off! She's involved this year's Great North Run, and she's planning to bike round the Alps to see this year's Tour de France cycle race. Well, that certainly leaves us out of breath, but not Angela. She also does yoga and pilates to keep supple and she's even had a go at Nordic walking as advertised through this site! If your limbs are aching just thinking about all that, don't worry, Angela is qualified in massage and aromatherapy too. What a star!

  • We’re not sure how we’re going to cram all of this month’s champion’s activities into one box – Andrew Bayston must be our busiest champion yet! There’s no stopping this 27-year-old– his Cerebral Palsy and learning disability are no match for his enthusiasm and dedication, especially when it comes to the recreational sport Boccia (a ball-throwing game similar to bowls, in case you were wondering!). Not content with just training once a week, Andrew has helped to establish and coach the new First York Boccia Juniors club, having trained as a Level 1 coach.

    As if that wasn’t enough, Andrew goes to the gym twice a week and walks everywhere, in training for Boccia and for taking part in organised races. He has completed six Jane Tomlinson events, has taken on the Great North Run twice, and is hoping to volunteer at the 2012 Olympics. Andrew always takes the time to motivate and encourage others too - what a fantastic, all-round champion!

  • Rebecca Craven never really considered herself the ‘sporty type’, but completed her first half marathon a few years ago. She found running such a quick and cheap way to get fit that she set up Copmanthorpe Runners, a running group where mums in particular could meet and go out together. The initial members were recruited through the local playgroup and the first goal was the 5k Race for Life event.

    “I was really pleased to see how the group developed and we now have men and women of all ages and abilities. We feel it’s important to give everyone a warm welcome, agree a route together and all stick together so no one is left behind”.

    Copmanthorpe Runners meet at the Copmanthorpe shops on Wednesdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 8.30am. They run round the village, across the fields, to Askham Bog, Bishopthorpe and also enjoy their annual village tour spotting Christmas lights!

    Everyone is welcome: just turn up and join in. Copmanthorpe Runners also have a Facebook page where you can find out lots more information about running gear, events and the group’s socials.

  • Jonathan Richardson has been chosen as champion for this month. He’s the Community Climbing Officer at Energise in York and is 100% behind the Good News campaign. He’s even painted the words GOOD NEWS on his climbing wall!

    As well as talking to all his climbing customers about keeping up their daily fitness he also encourages them to try new and exciting sports. These are the fun and interesting activities such as kayaking, canoeing and skiing which are key to enjoying a healthy and fit lifestyle.

  • Retired teacher Derek Utley is this month’s deserving champion. As a keen walker (he still does fairly serious walks like the Coast to Coast and Offa's Dyke) he is one of York’s volunteer walk leaders, leading a free walk which is open to everyone, starting at Dunnington every other week.

    The walks are always well attended and everyone has a great time. However he has been surprised by how little is known about the immediate surroundings, even by people who have lived here for a long time. So, to encourage more folk to get out and about he has produced 3 booklets of walks: Dunnington Strolls and Holtby Hikes, with walks of 2- 4 miles and Dunnington Super Strolls, from 6 to 9 miles. These have been sponsored by local firms and individuals, and are sold via the local newsagents for £1.50 with all proceeds to the NSPCC. He has sold hundreds of the booklets, and more titles are planned soon!

  • This month's champion is Hannah Barwick-Walters who decided to start a Cheerleading team at the University of York. Hannah had previously participated in dance and gymnastics and after discussions with a friend at another University, the York Hornets Cheerleading club was formed in 2008.

    The squad started with 25 members in one squad that trained once a week. This has now grown to 4 squads with over 75 male and female members that train 3 -4 times per week and last year the squad won first place in the British Cheerleading Association Midlands Classic.

    Hannah says "Cheerleading is a great form of all round exercise that includes dance routines, gymnastics and stunts. It is also a great place to meet new people in a friendly environment that caters for beginners in our performance squad to the elite in the stunt squad."

    Well done Hannah!

  • Ray Blogg, Social Secretary of New Earswick Bowling Club is this month's very deserving champion. Ray, 81 years old, has encouraged others to be active throughout his life, setting up the York postal racewalking club when he worked at Royal Mail. This led him to become a member of the British Racewalking Committee, helping others all over the country to have a go.

    Today he is passionate about giving club members and their families the chance to be active, organising social dances, golf trips, tap dancing sessions and activity breaks away. He is also looking to take a coaching qualification next year to encourage younger members of the club to get involved.

    Ray himself plays bowls 5 times a week,enjoys a round of golf 3 times a week and attends tap dancing classes with his wife Rita, setting an example to us all!

  • Our champions this month are Macmillan Cancer Support in York, who organise active events as part of their fund-raising activities, including the 3 Peaks Walk in July and the York 10k run in August. For people who don’t want to take part in these bigger events, they too can get involved by spending half an hour walking door to door and making leaflet drops. Getting people active and raising money for a good cause at the same time makes Macmillan Cancer Support a worthy recipient of our August Champion title. Find out more about them here.

  • York resident Bea Ruane had no idea what she was starting when she came up with the idea of a Daschund walking session with her friends. The first week saw a relatively modest 6 dogs turn up, but the word spread and the following week over 60 Daschunds and around 80 owners turned up! The dog-walking club is now a great success, meeting on the first Sunday in every month at 2pm at St Peter’s Field. We think getting this amount of people out and active definitely makes Bea our July Good News champion.

    Photo courtesy of of Shine Studios, York

  • Sue Smith from Haxby Library is a Good News Champion. The library recently entered the Haxby Scarecrow competition and made sure that their entry – Where’s Wally – was sitting on an exercise bike in the window, surrounded by fitness accessories and a Good News poster. Thankyou Sue!

This Good News is brought to you by Active York and the following people: