Keeping Fit

Exercise is fun and good for you – here are some more good reasons to get moving…
Street dance session; dancers jumping

Did you know that one in three children aged 12-15 are either overweight or obese (really overweight)? That’s pretty surprising and quite worrying. This is partly because children just aren’t getting enough exercise, and also because they are not eating healthily. Some children and young people aren't interested in playing sports or being active. These things not only keep your weight healthy, they also make you feel really good.

Take action: Visit Activities Oxfordshire to find out about activities in your area, get motivational support, find courses, classes and more!

How much exercise is enough?

You should get at least an hour of exercise each day, which should make you hot and at least a bit out of breath. Twice a week (or more if possible) you should also do things that make your bones and muscles stronger and more flexible, like running or other activities where you are on your feet rather than swimming or riding a bike.

Take Action: You don't have to get sporty to get fit. Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise? Download the Active 10 app and walk your way to health!

For many kids, these recommendations aren’t a problem because they’re always running around at school or at home, kicking a football with friends, cycling or walking to or from school, swimming and doing other stuff. However, some children stay away from being active for lots of different reasons.

Why not have a go at being more active now with this Change 4 Life dance video

Nu Sxool & R5 - Loud dance routine tutorial

But what if ...

I’m the only one in my family that does any exercise? This doesn’t matter. Being active isn’t just important for you – your parents, brothers and sisters and others also need to get moving about so why not set them an example?

I get big muscles? This is something girls often say because they’re scared of looking big or unfeminine. Unless you’re doing exercises such as weight lifting you won’t be building big muscles anyway.

I don’t have time? Build exercise into your normal daytime activities: walk or cycle to school, play a team game with friends at lunchtime, stretch or do circuit training in front of your favourite TV programme.

I’m not sporty? If you're not sporty, don't do sports. Fast walking, dancing, running, ice skating, hill walking, skating, conservation volunteering, and horse riding are all ways to get active and still avoid sports.

I’m too embarrassed? Go along to clubs with friends or family, or join in a small group activity. The teacher will make you feel welcome and you might even make some new friends!

I get hurt or injured? Being fit will make it easier for you to recover from injuries in the long term, but when you're starting out, take it easy, build up gradually, go for non-contact sports and don’t over do it!

Why it’s so good for you

Exercise is so great for you because it:

  • Makes the heart stronger and lungs healthier
  • Strengthens bones, tones up muscles, improves flexibility
  • Releases ‘feel good’ chemicals (endorphins) in your brain so you feel happier and less stressed.

Combined with healthy eating, it can also make you feel more energetic and fit, and help you find the energy to do your work and study.

In fact, there’s no good reason NOT to do it!

My opinion: Children and young people should do exercise because it helps achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. You can read more information about this on the ACE website. You can read about facts why children need to do exercise. Obesity has in increased from the ages 6-19 by 15%, almost quadruple what it was in the late 1960s. In my opinion I think that children should do exercise because if they do not, all the kids will get obese and that will make them non-healthy, and it would also decrease self-esteem for all the children. - Murat, Oxford 15

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