Fitness facts

Searcher from the Eat Move Learn team has teamed up with Pedal, who loves to exercise and play sport, to find out some cool fitness facts.

Searcher and Pedal exerciseHow long have humans been exercising for?

Humans have been exercising and doing sports for thousands of years. Did you know that the very first Olympic Games took place in Greece over 2,700 years ago? Some of the sports played then are still part of the Olympic Games today, including sprint races, long jump, and throwing the javelin and discus.

All types of exercise are good for you, not just sports. In fact, any playground games you do, walking to school or even helping your family to clean the house, all count.

Why do I need to exercise?

Exercising keeps your bones and muscles strong, helps you concentrate at school and makes you feel good! If you don’t move enough, you can feel sluggish and tired, even though you haven’t used your muscles. And exercising can help you to feel more energetic.

If you make sure to exercise often, it will help you become a healthy adult too.

How much exercise should I do?

You should do at least 60 minutes (1 hour) of exercise every day, but that doesn’t have to be all in 1 go – walking to school and back, or walking to the shops, all count, and you can spread it over the day. The more exercise you do, the better you will feel!

> Try our wiggle, hop or creep game

Do I need to warm up before exercise?

Have you ever heard an old car engine start? It might take a few tries, then needs to warm up before driving. Just like that, your body needs to warm up before exercise. This helps your body get ready to do its best and stops you hurting yourself. When your body’s warm, your muscles are ready to exercise!

Warm up by jogging on the spot or doing high-knees for 1 or 2 minutes, then you will be ready to run, kick a ball or play tag.

> Try Pedal’s balloon game

Do I need to cool down after exercise?

Cooling down after exercise is also important because it gives your heart, lungs and muscles a chance to rest.

Cool down by walking for 2 to 3 minutes, then stretch: reach your hands up high, then touch your toes. Finish by stretching your arms and legs.

Do I need to eat before I exercise?

Whether you’re playing sport like football, running or playing games with friends at the park, your body needs energy. This energy comes from the food we eat called carbohydrates. That’s why eating bananas, cereal or toast before you play gives your body the energy it needs to do its very best!

Do I need to eat after I exercise?

After you finish playing or exercising, your body feels tired because you’ve used up a lot of energy. That’s why you need to eat something to replace that energy. Milk, yoghurt, cereal and fruit are good choices.

Do I need to drink water when I exercise?

When you exercise and sweat, your body needs water to stay hydrated and energised. Keep a water bottle with you to sip on while you exercise.

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