Leading an active lifestyle doesn’t have to start and stop with going to the gym. There are plenty of jobs out there that can keep us moving – from delivering mail to rescuing animals.

While a physical job won’t be suitable for everyone, it’s no secret that daily activity can offer health benefits such as improved sleep, a reduced risk of disease, and a greater sense of wellbeing.

With this in mind, here are 11 active jobs that could help to boost your fitness levels.

1. Postal delivery worker

Whatever the weather, postal workers always deliver. They walk miles each shift to bring letters and parcels to millions of residents across the UK.

So, if you’re looking for a role that’ll keep you on your feet and on the move, then this could be for you. You’ll get to meet lots of new people along the way whilst building a reputation as a friendly face in the community.

Postal delivery workers will ideally be upbeat, self-motivated, resilient, and have a love of the great outdoors. You don’t need any previous experience as you’ll be taught everything you need to know on the job.

Ready to apply?

2. Ranger

Are you interested in conservation? Would you like to help maintain the beauty of natural outdoor spaces?

Rangers usually work in popular coastal or countryside areas to balance the needs of conservation and visitor management. Their aim is to make sure that both humans and wildlife can enjoy the space in a happy equilibrium.

As a ranger, you could be doing a variety of active tasks like leading guided walks, talks, and educational visits; planting and monitoring trees; and/or managing ponds – so you’ll need to be prepared to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

If you’re looking for a place to start, The National Trust offers a variety of ranger positions for people with varying levels of experience. As long as you can demonstrate excellent customer service skills and a strong interest in geography, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.

Want to work in the natural environment?

3. Hospital porter

Hospital porters play a pivotal role in the smooth running of hospitals all over the country. Their role is to transport patients and hospital equipment to different locations around the hospital.

Hospitals are big places, which is why the work of a porter is so important. They play a kind of ‘anything and everything’ type of role. For example, porters may be expected to provide equipment at short notice in an emergency or help a poorly patient get from one part of the hospital to another.

Hospital porters are always on hand to help and things would move much more slowly without them.

You often don’t need any previous experience to apply for a role as a porter, but you must be able to demonstrate that you have good communication and organisational skills and can remain calm in stressful situations.

Find reward in staying active and helping others...

4. Gardener

Do you have green fingers? Do you love to be out in the fresh air surrounded by nature? If so, you could find enjoyment in a career as a gardener.

Gardeners create and maintain beautiful outdoor spaces by carrying out tasks like planting bulbs, digging flower beds, and doing plenty of weeding.

Gardening has an endless list of benefits, including reduced stress levels, a stronger heart, and improved balance and flexibility. Plus, it’s a chance to bring out your creative side and build a space that can be thoroughly enjoyed by others.

If you already have gardening experience (perhaps you do a lot of gardening at home or for friends or family), you may want to work on a self-employed basis, offering your gardening services to people in your local area.

Alternatively, employers like the National Trust often take on gardeners to work in various green spaces across the UK.

Ready to apply for a job as a gardener?

Develop your gardening skills...

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5. RSPCA Inspector

RSPCA inspectors face physical and mental challenges on a daily basis during their mission to rescue and protect animals from dangerous situations. This could include anything from rescuing a dog from a neglectful owner to helping a large bird that has become entangled in barbed wire.

The unpredictability of the job means that inspectors should always be prepared to work at heights, swim distances, and work in cramped spaces to reach and rescue animals in trouble. There can also be heavy lifting involved – and it’s worth considering that you might have to carry a 30kg dog or a heavy sheep!

The fact that you’ll get to be there for animals when they need you the most makes this a rewarding profession in which you’ll be making a significant difference in the lives of many animals.

RSPCA inspectors often rescue animals from life-threatening situations, so the role carries a tremendous level of responsibility. If you’re interested in becoming an inspector yourself, it’s best to contact your nearest RSPCA rescue centre to find out more.

Contact your local RSPCA centre...

Explore other animal roles...

6. Cleaner or housekeeper

You’ll probably know from doing your own cleaning and tidying at home how much of a workout it can be. Just because you aren’t pouring sweat or wearing gym trainers, doesn’t mean you aren’t burning calories.

When you’re making beds, washing windows, and vacuuming floors, you end up doing a wide range of movements including bending, lifting, stretching, and walking – all of which help to exercise some of the major muscle groups in the body.

Cleaners work in a range of different locations, such as schools, hotels, and office buildings – giving you plenty of options. And while some cleaning jobs require the use of specialised equipment and experience, many others will provide training on the job – as long as you’re self-motivated with a can-do attitude.

Interested in a cleaning career?

7. Dog walker

If you’re a dog lover who’s looking for an active role, then why not put your best paw forward in a role as a dog walker?

There are few times when a dog is more excited than just before a walk. So, if you’re the person who’s going to make that happen, chances are you’ll spend your days being greeted by wagging tails!

Dog walkers get to stay fit, spend time outside, and walk side by side with some of the most loyal and intelligent creatures out there.

Most dog walkers work on a self-employed basis and build up a list of regular clients. For example, many people start by walking dogs for friends, family, or neighbours, as their recommendations can help you land new clients.

You can also connect with dog owners near you on pet care websites like Tailster. There are plenty of people out there who need someone to walk their dog – it’s just a case of reaching out to let them know that you’re available.

Want to get started on your journey as a dog walker?

8. Personal trainer

As a personal trainer, you’ll have to know more than simply how to get the best out of yourself – you’ll also have to understand how to help your clients achieve their best in terms of diet and nutrition.

Not all personal trainers are super fit themselves. But if you’re spending your days training clients, putting together fitness plans, and keeping up to date with the latest fitness and nutrition trends – you’ll also be well equipped to use these in your own life.

Personal trainers often work in gyms too, meaning that it’s much easier for them to schedule their own workouts around their clients’ workout sessions.

If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, it’s advisable to take a recognised qualification in order to improve the safety and credibility of the service you’ll be offering. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to build up a client base – especially if you decide to work on a self-employed basis.

Find out more about becoming a personal trainer...

If you want to help others improve their fitness but you’re not sure one-to-one training is for you, you could consider becoming a class instructor instead.

Teaching classes can be great fun and offer a sense of community, while still bringing the reward of knowing that you’re making a positive difference in people’s lives.

If this sounds appealing, check out Move it or Lose it. Their certified FABS training program will teach you everything you need to know to teach safe, effective, and empowering exercise classes for older adults.

Want to learn more and apply?

9. Childcare

If you’re looking for a job that will keep you on your toes, a childcare role could be the answer.

It’s no secret that children keep us young – they have plenty of energy and are always looking for new and exciting ways to fill their time.

In a childcare role, when you aren’t helping children play fancy dress or build a tower out of blocks, you’ll be collecting them from school or nursery, making their dinners, or tidying up after them.

There are various childcare roles that might pique your interest, such as working as a nanny in another family’s home, childminding in your own home, or working in a nursery. There are also full and part-time options available, so you can choose the level of commitment that suits you.

To get inspired, why not read Connie and Margie’s personal stories of nannying? Or, if you’d like to find out more, why not try one of the options below?

Apply for childcare roles via Rest Less...

Want to find out more about childcare work?

10. Butcher

If you’re passionate about great quality food and are looking for a role where you’ll never stop learning, then you could consider becoming a butcher.

Butchers are essentially meat experts who’re skilled in everything from cutting meat to seasoning and cooking it.

People who buy from a butcher (rather than buying pre-packaged meat from a supermarket) often do so because they’re seeking a higher quality product, as well as advice on how to prepare, cook, and serve it.

While it’s important for butchers to have great people skills and extensive knowledge in their field, they must also be able to stay on their feet all day moving and cutting slabs of meat – so you’ll need a reasonable level of strength and fitness.

There isn’t a set route to becoming a butcher, but you’ll usually apply for a job as a trainee first. Many employers take on individuals with little or no experience as long as they have a can-do attitude and desire to provide great quality customer service.

Ready to apply for a role as a butcher?

Find out more about becoming a butcher...

11. Tour guide

Do you have the skills and passion to bring a historic or cultural site to life for others?

Tour guides lead people around an area of particular interest in the UK or abroad – including museums, historic buildings, and striking landscapes – all whilst offering interesting knowledge about it.

They’re usually passionate people who love history and culture and want others to have the same magical experience in a place as they’ve had.

Being a tour guide offers a refreshing alternative from the confines of a 9-5 desk job because you’ll often walk long distances around different areas. This is particularly true for tour guides who take people on walking tours through beautiful rural areas or around large cities.

Many tour guides work on a self-employed basis – planning tour routes themselves and advertising their services online. If this is something that you’d like to do, then The Institute of Tourist Guiding offers information and advice about how to get started.

Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable gaining experience with an established tour company that can show you the ropes. There are plenty out there that offer full training on the job, provided you have a strong knowledge of the area you’re looking to work in.

Find out more about becoming a tour guide and apply...

Final thoughts...

If being more active at work isn’t right for you, there are several other ways that you can become more active in your daily life – for example, by going for a brisk walk, riding your bike or even mowing the lawn.

Sometimes, it can also help to start by making small changes to your existing routine, like walking to the shops instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the lift. These things may seem small but when it comes to activity, every little helps towards boosting your fitness levels.

For further inspiration, you might want to check out the fitness and exercise section of our website. Here, you’ll find tips on everything from how to increase your step count to how to be more active at home.