Why should you exercise? We only have one body and we should all do exercise as part of keeping it healthy. However, lots of us don’t do enough.
How long should you exercise for: The government have recommended 1 hour a day for a child or young person under the age of 18. The hour can be completed in 1 session or accumulated in multiple sessions lasting a minimum of 10 minutes. The government have also recommended that sedentary activities (such as computer playing) should be reduced. Exercise should be built up to the recommended levels.
What will exercise do for you?
Keep your heart healthy
Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood, full of oxygen all around your body to deliver it where it’s needed. The blood then comes back to pick up more oxygen and continues. Your heart therefore needs to be kept strong to carry out this job. You can do this by exercising.
If you give your heart a regular work out to get it pumping above your resting level, you will help to keep your heart happy and healthy. You should get out of breath and sweaty during this level of activity.
Makes you feel good
When you exercise, your body releases a chemical to help give you energy. This chemical has a special function to make you feel happier. It’s also nice to feel good at an activity and you should feel proud about looking after your body.
Strengthen your muscles
When you exercise regularly, you use your muscles. They will become nice and strong to support all your joints. This means you may be able to do more of the activities you enjoy.
Keep balanced – Our body is a system that needs energy put in it to make it work (this energy can be measured as calories and is in the food we eat). We need a certain amount of energy just to function and carry out our normal daily activities, like going up and down the stairs or walking around school. If we do more exercise, we need more energy put in. If we do less exercise, we won’t need as much energy. If you eat more than your body needs, this excess energy will get stored as fat and this will increase your weight.
Keeping balanced means keeping your weight the same by putting in what you need for the level of activity you are doing.
Getting the right fuel
We need to make sure we have a balanced diet, putting in, not only the right amounts of fuel, but the right type. Have a look at our food plate to see what percentage of your food should be; fruit, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy as a side dish. For more details please ask your GP or visit the food standards agency .
Shortness of breath during exercise is normal, however, if during exercise, the child/young person experiences any symptoms of weakness, unsteadiness, light-headedness or dizziness, chest pain / tightness or nausea, please stop the activity immediately and contact your local health professional. However, mild soreness after exercise may be experienced after beginning any new exercise.