Why is exercise so good?
Find the right exercise for you
There’s loads of ways to get your 60 minutes exercise. Not just straightforward walking, but team sports, yoga and even adrenaline sports and martial arts training. Take our quiz to discover which activities would really suit you.Start quiz!
Routines featuring high-energy exercises are the perfect way to get active in your own home. Or dance around to a great soundtrack until you’re sweaty!
Go for a run
Running is ideal for working up a sweat. Pick a safe place such as a school sports field and try the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ plan to get started.
Yoga or Pilates
Yoga or pilates are the perfect way to warm up your muscles and get flexible. All you need is a mat. Check out our beginners guide below.
Go for a walk
Walking is a great way to exercise, or try speed walking, power walking or walking your dog with your music playing to really get your heart rate up.
Outdoors and exciting
Try an exciting activity such as army-style commando training or athletics as part of a safe and regulated team, or join a local sports group.
Indoor team sports
Join an indoor 5-a-side football, netball, hockey or basketball team, or try a group class such as martial arts or weight training for a fun way to stay fit.
Yoga or pilates
A yoga or pilates class is a great place to start, or you could try gymnastics or dance classes for a fun way to exercise with your friends.
Pick a sport where you can move at your own pace, such as tennis, badminton or rock climbing, so you can exercise with friends of a similar fitness level.
In your everyday life there are some activities which can be swapped for more active options. Swipe the items below to see how you can become more active.
Driving or getting the bus
Sometimes you need to get the bus, but there are other options that can help you to move more.
There are other ways to get around!
It can be fun to travel on a bike or a skateboard instead of relying on public transport.
Used to sitting inside at lunchtime or not moving about much?
Instead could you play a game of footie or netball or go for a walk?
Playing computer games
Watching TV or playing computer games can be a good way to relax but they don’t help you to move much!
Exercise can still be relaxing
Why not try a quick 30 minute blast of exercise, such as a walk, a bike ride or yoga?
It’s easy to get the lift or to sit down on the bus but could you be moving more?
Take the stairs, choose a further bus stop or stand up on the bus!
Boring evenings and dull weekends
It can get boring sitting inside watching TV or milling around the house.
Plan some activities!
Head to the park and get your family and friends involved! You could try dog walking, a treasure hunt or a big team game of rounders or basketball.
Just remember, everything counts! Even getting off the bus a couple of stops early when you’re going into town. If you choose a sport you love, whether that’s martial arts or gymnastics, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. And afterwards, you’ll feel great.
Overcoming exercise fear
Serious question, are you worried about exercising? Is something stopping you, or you’re not sure where to begin? Here we’ve tackled some issues that you might be having and asked our experts for advice on getting past them…
"I hate being sweaty"
What about exercising at home where you can quickly jump in the shower? Or try gentle exercise like yoga or walking – everything counts.
“I’m worried everyone will laugh at me”
Build your confidence by exercising at home first, then join a beginners’ team of like-minded people, so you can all make a start together
"I’m too jiggly and unfit, there’s no point"
If you already feel unfit, it’s actually the perfect time to start. Try a more relaxed activity such as yoga or walking first. Start slow and you’ll soon make progress
“My friends won’t join me so I’m on my own”
You could join a beginners’ sports team, where everyone’s starting from scratch. It’s a great way to develop new skills and make new friends
"I don't like how I look when I exercise"
Let’s get real here, exercise isn’t the most glamorous activity. You might sweat, your face might get red and there definitely isn’t an Instagram filter involved!
But who cares?
The most important thing to remember is, you’re exercising for you. The more you exercise, the more you enjoy the way you look – because you know that sweat and a red face mean you’ve been working really hard…
…which means you’re going to feel great – inside and out.
For more inspiration, visit the This Girl Can website which is a celebration of active girls and women all over the country. Discover new activities and read real-life stories from girls and women just like you.
Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t ‘forget your gym kit’ or feel ashamed about how you look. Feel proud of your body and embrace what it can do. Get started today!
Still unsure or have a question? Try speaking to your sports teacher at school or download this factsheet from the NHS website for more information.
Ready to start exercising?
Just a few small changes will help you feel happier and healthier every day.
Remember, you’re aiming for 60 minutes of activity every day. That’s four 15 minute slots, which you can fill-up with any sport or activity – from walking to school to games lessons or joining a sports club. Don’t worry if you don’t get 60 minutes every day – it’s just important to try your best, because then you’ll feel even better.
There’s lots of local activities to get involved in!