Benefits of Being Active
How much physical activity should children and young people aged 5 to 18 do to keep healthy?
Children and young people need to do 2 types of physical activity each week:
• aerobic exercise.
• exercises to strengthen their muscles and bones.
Children and young people aged 5 to 18 should:
• aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day across the week.
• take part in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscles and bones.
• reduce the time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity. Aim to spread activity throughout the day.
Mental and psychological benefits
We often think that exercise just benefits your body, but it also has many benefits for your mind:
• raises your confidence and self-esteem
• helps your brain work better, so you can learn and remember more
• helps you cope better with the feeling of being out of breath
• reduces anxiety and depression
• creates new social opportunities, so you can get out of the house and meet people
Being active has lots of physical benefits:
• improves the strength of your breathing muscles, heart and circulation. This helps you use oxygen more efficiently, so you don’t get so breathless
• better muscle strength in every part of your body
• improves bone strength
• helps you resist infections
• helps you maintain a healthy weight
• improves flexibility and joint mobility
• higher energy levels
• better sleep
• lower stress levels and blood pressure
• lower risk of falling (by improving your balance)
• reduces your risk of developing other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, dementia and some cancers