A-Z OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT IN 2007

A Age is no barrier to taking up a new sport or physical activity. Keeping active has lots of other advantages other than keeping you fit – you feel livelier, you can meet new people and enjoy a new and possibly challenging activity.

B Burn calories through exercise, tone up an d lose weight!

C Cycling is the perfect way to appreciate the spectacular scenery, history and natural splendour that Wales has to offer. And if you want to explore the country by bike, then the Welsh Tourist Board can help you find routes that are among the best in the world.

D Dragon Sport is a Sports Council for Wales programme aimed at encouraging children to get fit and healthy at an early age. Sports on offer include Dragon rugby, cricket and football. Welsh sporting legends such as Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Scott Gibbs and Simon Jones can count themselves as Dragon Sport Ambassadors.

E Exercise, exercise, exercise! Legs, bums and tums, aerobics and boxercise are just a few examples of the classes hosted at your local sports centre where there will be a range to suit all tastes and abilities.

F Football! Whether playing five-a-side in a Sunday league team or a general knock about in the park with jumpers for goalposts, playing football is an ideal way to improve co-ordination and general fitness levels.

G Get rid of all those stereotypes of gyms being scary places full of instruments of torture and perfect bodies. A good gym will give you an induction with a workout routine tailor made for you.

H Hiking consists of walking with a backpack to build strength and endurance. Want a workout that combines walking, climbing, weight training and aerobics against nature? Then hiking may be for you. And as well as the lovely scenery, the exertion will give your heart, lungs and muscles a great work out.

I Be Inspired by the success of our up and coming younger athletes.

J Get back to basics and get Jogging! All you need is a decent pair of trainers and the open road (or the treadmill given the Welsh weather). It's an old favourite for calorie burning, muscle toning and stress relief.

K Kick boxing is less formal than traditional martial arts classes but still a great way to burn calories, learn self-defence, balance, and co-ordination.

L Learn to love exercise and you’ll never give it up!

M Motivation! Buddy up with friends and family and make it your aim to achieve your exercise goals together!

N Netball may bring back memories of big gym knickers - but it has changed! Clubs cater for those who fall into the ‘oh my god I haven't picked up a ball in ten years’ category to those playing at national level.

O Outdoor sports! Head out into the great Welsh countryside for wonderful walks and spectacular scenery.

P Pilates! The current buzzword in the exercise world! Fans include Madonna and it's not difficult to see why. Pilates works on the less is more principal. It focuses on slow, measured, repeated movements to strengthen lesser-used muscles.

Q Quit smoking to improve your lung capacity and your ability to exercise.

R Rollerblading - Wearing the right equipment gives you a work out that is great for toning your inner and outer thighs, improving co-ordination and is great fun for the whole family.

S Salsa your way to a better body! 30 minutes of salsa dancing buns between 200-400 calories – just as many calories as walking, swimming and riding a bicycle.

T Thirty minutes of exercise, every day for five days a week is the recommended dose for a healthy lifestyle!

U Understand your body’s limits. Don’t over-exert yourself and always keep in mind that exercising should be fun!

V Volleyball! A game that’s usually available on the beach or at your local sports centre. Played on a court with a high net and hitting the ball over it with your fist or hands. A good all rounder building strength, hand and eye coordination and overall fitness.

W Water = swimming! The perfect all rounder! As the water takes the strain, this exercise is gentle on the joints, good for the heart and tones the whole body.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s Free Swim initiative for the over 60’s is going from strength to strength. Contact your local leisure centre for details.

X X-Treme Sports – "Anyone for Bungee Jumping?"

Y Yoga is an ideal way to relax and tone up at the same time. Focusing on breathing, meditation and stretching it gets your mind and body working together to promote a sense of well being.

Z Zzzz! Not only is exercise great for improving strength, fitness, mobility and releasing those all important endorphins, it also helps to get a great night’s sleep, giving your body and mind time to heal, rejuvenate and get ready to stat again.