We often think we have to go to the gym to exercise, that’s not true. Instead try some of our ideas below to get active.
Benefits of physical activity
Regular physical activity builds a stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles. It also makes our body produce chemicals (called endorphins) which affect the brain and help improve our mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Regular activity can also help us
- Have more energy
- Socialise more and work as part of a team (if we join a club or group)
- Increase concentration at school/college or work
- Achieve better grades or results
- Lose weight (if advised by a GP or Nurse)
- Improve self esteem
- Improve balance and strength
- Sometimes it can help us learn patience and have more control of our feelings (to get rid of frustration or anger)
- Get a better night's sleep
How long should I do physical activity for?
Physical activities should be done for at least one hour every day, but it can be up to several hours. Moderate activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate, so you breathe harder and begin to sweat, but are still able to talk.
More intense activity means that your heart rate and breathing are harder and faster but you find talking more difficult. Do this 3 times a week to strengthen bones and muscles.
If you have a health problem or disability make sure you know your limits and you choose something that you can do safely. Speak to your GP or school nurse if you want some advice.
Keep it fun
It’s important to find activities you enjoy. This way it will be more fun and you'll be more likely to stick at it. Things like:
- Bike riding or skateboarding
- Walking the dog
- Martial arts
- Vacuuming the house (yes really!)
- Working out at the gym or at home
- Playing a sport
Top tips to get you started
- Choose an activity you enjoy
- Have other physical activities ready so you don’t get bored
- Decide if you want to do it alone or in a group or club
- Check out if there is a cost, do you need a kit or special equipment and will you need to travel to get there?
- Add it into your weekly plans or phone (if you have one) so you are reminded.
- Stick with it... so it becomes part of your routine!
- Remember you can do physical activity almost anywhere, inside the house, in the garden, at the park or at school/college. Be creative, have fun and improve your fitness and emotional wellbeing!
- Download the Easy Yoga Moves worksheet