Keeping fit is a great way to make the most of your free time and meet new people. With so many different ways of keeping fit there's something to suit everyone.
The benefits of getting fit
By keeping physically active, you're making sure that your joints and body organs are kept in good working order. Exercise can also help maintain your weight at a healthy level and can protect you against catching coughs and colds.
Other benefits are an increase in your energy level and brain activity. Knowing that you're looking and feeling good can also improve your self-confidence.
How much exercise do you need?
If you're under 18, you should try to do a total of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. You don't have to do it all in one go, but in chunks of at least 10-15 minutes throughout the day. This includes everything from pumping iron in the gym to walking up stairs instead of taking the lift. The key thing is that the activity should increase your heart rate and make you feel warmer.
If you're over 18, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.
If you do want to start exercising and getting fit, the best idea is to try out a whole range of physical activities to see which ones you enjoy the most. Once you've decided which things you like, you can plan what type of exercise you're going to do and when.
Before you start
If you've decided to start an exercise routine, it's important to go and see your doctor for an examination. Your doctor will be able to advise you on how much exercise you should be doing to begin with. They'll also let you know if you have any medical conditions, like knee or back pain, that can limit the type of exercise you do.
Fitness for free
Getting fit isn't all about gyms - some forms of exercise won't cost you a penny, and most types can easily be slotted into a busy lifestyle without having to find an extra few hours in your day.
- Cycling to school, college or work. If you don't have a bike, you could always walk instead of driving or taking the bus
- Jogging. Even running around the block a few times a week can improve your fitness level
- Checking out the leisure facilities
- Checking out Sutton's sport facilities and programmes for young people by following this link - Sports
Getting fit isn't just something you have to do by yourself. Playing team sports like football, hockey or netball is great exercise, but is often more enjoyable because you're with a group of friends.
Your school, college or university may run sessions in the evening, or you might want to get involved with a local team. As well as on this website you can find details of local clubs on the internet, in the phone book or at your nearest leisure centre.