What you need to know

An active lifestyle has lots of benefits for the body and mind including maintaining a healthy weight, happier mood, endurance and strength. Exercising regularly keeps your blood flowing, releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins, improves mental sharpness, maintains healthy weight and increases your metabolic rate so you burn more calories when resting.

  • Try to engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This could be moderate exercise such as walking or high-intensity exercise such as running, swimming or dancing.
  • Exercise doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. You can do a lot of physical activity for free e.g. walking 10,000 steps a day, cycling to meet your friends, body-weight training and playing sports with your friends.
  • Set yourself goals e.g. "I will lose 5kg in 3 months" or "I will walk for 30 minutes every day"
  • Make sure you warm up before physical activity. This will reduce the likelihood of injury.
  • Don't give up too soon, results take time.
  • Make time to rest. Over-exercising can cause injury and isolation from the rest of your life.
  • Use apps to help with your exercising and to track your results. The Couch to 5K helps you to go gradually from sitting on the coach to running 5K.
  • Get involved with a local sports team. This is a fun way to exercise and you can often make new friends.
  • Eat and sleep after a workout to aid your body's recovery.
  • Remember that any activity is better than none. Try taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking to meet your friends instead of taking the bus.

Your school should have more information about after-school sports clubs or you could visit your local leisure centre to find out about activities they run.

Talk to your friends about physical activity they enjoy and ask if you can join in or suggest new ways to be active together.

For further information about exercise 

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