Whether you're in the gym, walking with friends or playing football, keeping active is great for your body and your mind. Exercise is good for you for so many reasons! It helps you to:
Stay fit and healthy
This in turn helps you feel good about your body.
You just need to find the right exercise for you.
Develop new skills
Learn a new sport and make new friends.
There are ‘happy chemicals’ which help make you feel good.
Even if you aren't a little gym bunny, and don't like organised exercise, there are a lot of ways you can incorporate a bit more exercise into your daily life. Just remember, everything counts! Even getting off the bus a couple of stops early when you’re going into town. If you choose a sport you love, whether that’s martial arts or gymnastics, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. And afterwards, you’ll feel great. Think about:
Your journey to school or college
It could be fun to walk, cycle or even skate instead of driving or taking the bus, if it's safe for you
Try to head outside for a walk, a game of football or a quick bout of netball
Stay on your toes
Get off the bus a stop early, take the stairs or stand up on the train
Exercise doesn't have to be exhausting! Try a 30-minute yoga class or bike ride to help you relax
There's some great advice about how much exercise to do at your age, and what counts under different types of exercise, on the NHS website here.
Are you worried about exercising? Is something stopping you, or you’re not sure where to begin? Here we’ve tackled some issues that you might be having and asked our experts for advice on getting past them…
"I hate being sweaty"
What about exercising at home where you can quickly jump in the shower? Or try gentle exercise like yoga or walking – everything counts.
“I’m worried everyone will laugh at me”
Build your confidence by exercising at home first, then join a beginners’ team of like-minded people, so you can all make a start together
"I’m too jiggly and unfit, there’s no point"
If you already feel unfit, it’s actually the perfect time to start. Try a more relaxed activity such as yoga or walking first. Start slow and you’ll soon make progress
“My friends won’t join me so I’m on my own”
You could join a beginners’ sports team, where everyone’s starting from scratch. It’s a great way to develop new skills and make new friends
"I don't like how I look when I exercise"
Let’s get real here, exercise isn’t the most glamorous activity. You might sweat, your face might get red and there definitely isn’t an Instagram filter involved!
But who cares?
The most important thing to remember is, you’re exercising for you. The more you exercise, the more you enjoy the way you look – because you know that sweat and a red face mean you’ve been working really hard…which means you’re going to feel great – inside and out.
Still unsure or have a question? Try speaking to your sports teacher at school or download this factsheet from the NHS website for more information.
Ready to start exercising?
Just a few small changes will help you feel happier and healthier every day. Remember, you’re aiming for 60 minutes of activity every day. That’s four 15 minute slots, which you can fill-up with any sport or activity – from walking to school to games lessons or joining a sports club. Don’t worry if you don’t get 60 minutes every day – it’s just important to try your best, because then you’ll feel even better.