Be active

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We’re more connected than ever before, thanks to modern technology. But failing to switch off – our phones, tablets and minds – can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

Luckily, there’s a relatively simple fix! Working to improve our physical health – through regular exercise, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep – can keep us feeling strong, calm, focused and more resilient.

The recommendation for individuals is at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity on most days of the week. It doesn’t have to be a spin class; try three brisk 10-minute walks throughout the day.

Did you know?

Exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory. Researchers at the University of California found that people who did 10 minutes of gentle exercise performed better on memory tests than those who sat still.

How to boost your physical health:

  • Rise and shine. Getting up 15 minutes earlier to go for a walk will start your day off on the right foot.

  • Routine is key. Find a time that works for you to go to bed and wake up, and stick with it! Good sleep habits are a fast ticket to catching those zzzs.

  • Bust the 3pm slump. We’re all guilty of grabbing a sugary snack when the inevitable afternoon fatigue sets in. But that probably just makes you feel a whole lot worse. Skip the sugar and grab some fruit or nuts – and try going for a brisk five-minute walk in the sunshine. You’ll feel energised for longer and ready to tackle the last few hours of work.

  • Read up on how to get a good night’s sleep, find out how to exercise when you're not motivated and learn how swimming, in particular, can benefit your mental health.

You have to exercise, or at some point you'll just break down' - Barack Obama

What can I do now?

  • Teach students about managing study stress.

  • Use ReachOut Schools' 'physical life' Wellbeing Five in the classroom.