Keeping Fit

Keeping fit is important at all ages. Fitness is the key to your physical health and to enable you to live happily. Regular exercise can increase energy levels, release stress and make you feel good about yourself.

The key to lifelong fitness is to make it fun. If you find a variety of activities you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay fit simply because exercise becomes a part of your daily routine and something you look forward to, without even thinking about it. It’s all part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

To keep fit most people need about one hour of moderate activity a day, just enough to make you feel warm and breathe more heavily than usual. It doesn’t have to be all in one go; you can build it up over the day, for example:

  • 10 mins walking to school.
  • 20 mins basketball.
  • 10 mins walking home from school.
  • 20 mins rollerblading with a friend.

There are three main types of exercise, a combination is ideal:

Aerobic activities are particularly important for your health. Aerobic activities are continuous in nature and use the large muscles of the body. They help ensure that your heart and blood vessels (the cardiovascular system) continue to work efficiently.
You could try: Volleyball, jogging, rollerblading, tennis, football, netball, walking and ice skating.

Muscular strength and endurance exercises are a great way of helping you to look and feel good. Improving your muscular strength and endurance will help to:

  • Improve the shape of your body and muscles.
  • Improve your posture.
  • Make it easier for you to perform everyday activities.
  • Make your bones and muscles stronger.
  • Prevent injury.

For example you could try: circuit training, gymnastics, canoeing, karate or surfing.

Flexibility exercise about twice a week can help to:

  • Improve posture.
  • Improve the ability to do everyday activities.
  • Prevent muscles becoming sore and injured.

Flexibility can be improved by stretching the muscles. Each stretch should be held still for 10-30 seconds (this is called static stretching) and you should try to do this 3 to 5 times.

You might enjoy: Yoga or Thai Chi.

Who can help?

Teen Life Check is a quick and easy online quiz for 12-15 year-olds that lets you check out your health and lifestyle. Your answers and results are confidential and you’ll get some useful advice on issues such as bullying, stress, home life, crime, healthy eating, exercise, safe sex, drugs, alcohol and more. Visit www.teenlifecheck.co.uk