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Keeping Healthy – School Age

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?

According to the NHS guidelines children and young people aged 5 to 18 are advised to do 2 types of physical activity each week.

Advice regarding sports and activities which are beneficial and appropriate for this age group can be found at the following link:

NHS Guidance 

For children with additional physical needs and disabilities the advice differs slightly:

Additional Physical needs Guidance 

Activities that may encourage your child’s development include soft play, climbing frames, cycling, swimming and sports/PE. There are many games available that encourage movement e.g. twister and hopscotch.



Sports are very important as they keep you fit, keep you healthy and you meet lots of new people. You don’t have to do it to an elite level, just for fun and to keep fit!

  • When trying a new sport, make sure you start at a low level of activity and build up your involvement. This will prevent injury and improve your overall fitness.
  • Stretching after activity when your muscles are warm will also help to reduce injury. All of your muscles should be stretched immediately after exercise, including your legs and arms. Your coach or group leader should be able to teach you some appropriate stretches to complete after your session of sport.

If you sustain a minor injury, please follow this link for support: Musculoskeletal

As a teenager your posture is very important, especially as you may be carrying a heavy school bag, sitting in class and using a computer/games console. Having a good posture will help to reduce the risk of back pain, shoulder pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. You can further reduce the risk of this by ensuring you take regular movement breaks and are trying to complete regular physical activity.

As a teenager you will be nearing the end of your growing, however it is very important to keep fit to keep your concentration allow you to focus during school and keep your body healthy.

In addition to being active it is important that we eat the right foods to keep healthy. 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.

For more information on this visit the Coventry Family Health and Lifestyle Service 

For things to do to keep active, please see Community Page

children in uniform running