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Physical fitness

There are several health and lifestyle benefits to maintaining a regular exercise routine. Such as: Lowering your risk of heart disease and giving you more energy.

It is recommended that children and teenagers get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

It doesn't have to be all in one go; it can be chunks of about 15 - 20 minutes throughout the day.

Start with 20 minutes walk to the shops, ride your bike to the park instead of getting the bus, finish the day with a game of Frisbee.

The exercise should be of moderate intensity; for example, simply walking or cycling, swimming, dancing, team sports, aerobics or contact sports.

Exercise without injury

Exercise is a great way of keeping your body in shape and staying healthy. But it can also be painful and de-motivating if you injure yourself.

Warming up and stretching

Some of the most common sports injuries are muscle sprains and strains; hamstring muscle tears alone account for 10-15% of all sports injuries. This is why you should always warm-up properly before every exercise session. You can warm-up by walking or slow jogging.

Take around 5-10 minutes to warm-up and stretch, make sure you concentrate on the areas of the body you will use the most.

Activities can be broken up into two categories - aerobics exercise and strength training. Both are important to any exercise routine.

Aerobics exercise

This type of exercise includes jogging, swimming and playing tennis, and can be strenuous (demanding) on your body, so try not to overdo it.

Strength training

This type of exercise is also known as resistance training, and includes lifting weights and using machines to improve your muscle strength. Always start this type of exercise under the supervision of a trained professional, such as a coach or fitness trainer at a gym. This way, you learn how to do the exercise properly and avoid hurting yourself.

Remember to always warm-up before and warm down after any form of exercise.

Do not do anything strenuous without a doctor.

Source: NHSdirect.co.uk

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Last updated: Fri 23 Nov 2012 at 10:16