Being active benefits you more than you may think.
Spending some time every day doing some form of exercise helps to improve your overall health and fitness and also:
- Improves concentration in lessons and exams
- Builds strong muscles and bones as you continue to grow and develop
- Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
- Improves sleep
- Improves mood and stress
Always make sure to include some exercise breaks in your revision timetables.
How much activity should I be doing?
It’s recommended that you should be aiming for 60 minutes of physical activity a day, including moderate or intense aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening.
You don’t have to do 60 minutes all in one go. You can split it across the day or just stop once you hit 60 minutes – there’s no reason you can’t do some extra on the days you have PE
How can I fit in 60 minutes of exercise a day?
How and what you do is up to you, so why not choose an activity or two that not only adds up to 60minutes a day but that you enjoy. You’re more likely to keep doing it if you enjoy it.
What physical activity should you do?
Moderate activity raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song.
Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most young people include:
- Walking to school
- Playing in the playground
- Riding a scooter
- Walking the dog
- Cycling on level ground or ground with few hills.
School activity counts
You will already be achieving some activity if you walk to and from school, in your PE lessons or if you take part in any school sports teams.
Find a hobby
You want to enjoy the activity you do so why not try some afterschool or weekend activities that you think you might enjoy? This could be football, dancing, martial arts. Why not take some time to see what your school and local area have going on.
Set yourself a challenge
Maybe you want to improve your run time or take part in a running event. Whatever the challenge you’ve set yourself is, planning and following a training plan to achieve this is a great way to really enjoy the rewards of being active.
Join a gym or try some classes
Many gyms will have memberships for teenagers that give you full use of facilities. Why not take the opportunity to try a gym class or two to see what type of exercise you enjoy? Or maybe you want something closer to home. In which case, there are lots of exercise videos and tips on YouTube.
The NHS Fitness Studio also has a library of exercise videos of home workouts.
Make it a social
Next time you’re making plans with friends, why not suggest a jog, bike ride or even a dance session. Not only is exercise a fun and cheap way to socialise with your friends but also a great chance to meet new people with similar hobbies.
Remember, your body uses your stored energy when doing exercise so make sure you fuel properly before and after exercise. Read more about healthy eating.