Getting active, staying healthy

What can I do?

Photo of girls' football teams shaking hands before a matchThere are lots of fun activities you can do at home alone, with a friend in the evenings on a school day, and some will fit brilliantly around homework or other family commitments.

Stretching

This is a great activity to fit in when you have a few spare minutes in your day or when you need a breather from your homework.

Stretching your muscles is great because it helps:

  • To wake you up
  • To get rid of any muscle or joint stiffness
  • Prepare your body properly to take part in physical activity
  • Prevent hurting or injuring yourself
  • Recovery after physical activity.

You should stretch as part of a warm up before any vigorous activity and these should ideally be held for 6-10 seconds. After any activity cool-down stretches should be held for 12-15 seconds.

Bored at break times? Why not try out some of the following activity ideas with your mates and just see how the time flies. Using your breaktimes to be active is an excellent way to contribute to your hour a day of physical activity.

Breaktime activities

Why not: 

  • Take a brisk walk around the school and catch up on gossip at the same time? (Make sure you choose areas where you are allowed of course!)
  • Ask a member of staff if any equipment (for example balls or rackets) can be made available for use? You could even suggest that a certain area of the playground/field could be used for this.
  • Suggest to a member of staff about allowing a certain activity on a particular day a week? For example inline skating, skate-boarding, basketball, BMX or mountain biking.

Are there any clubs on offer at lunchtimes? Perhaps the activities on offer don't seem that appealing to you. Get a mate to try one out with you. You may be surprised to find out that you have a hidden talent and will certainly feel refreshed for your afternoon's lessons! 

Walk or cycle to school

Walking or cycling to school is a brilliant way to contribute towards your hour a day of physical activity because:

  • It can easily become a part of your daily routine
  • It is a great way to meet up with friends and catch up on gossip before school and after lessons.

If you do walk/cycle to school remember:

Do:

  • Walk/cycle with friends or brothers and sisters
  • Wear a helmet if you are cycling
  • Ask about cycling proficiency courses taking place in school or in your local community
  • Choose routes that are well lit, well used by people and relatively traffic free
  • Use effective lights and reflective gear when cycling in dim light or the dark
  • Let parents know which route you will be taking.

Don't:

  • Forget to have your bike checked over from time to time to ensure that it is in safe working order
  • Wear your rucksack on one shoulder, but on two instead. This is easier and much better for your back
  • Wear dark clothing if you are cycling in the winter when the mornings and evenings are darker; wear a reflective top or something that is lightly coloured as your top layer.


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