Being fit and active means staying healthy – something lots of kids, parents, teachers, coaches and many others care about. But being fit is more than just exercise. It involves eating well, getting enough sleep and looking after your feelings and mind as well.
If you are worried about your fitness, talk to someone who can help. Someone in your family, at your school or at another place where people’s health is a focus (the local community centre, or a health clinic).
Young people often ask themselves three main questions about fitness and activity:
- Is my body a good size?
- Will I make the team?
- How do I know what my body needs?
Here are our thoughts on these topics!
Is my body a good size?
A lot of information on the topic of body image comes at us from many different places – the internet, fashion magazines, music videos, movies and TV shows. It’s easy to get confused about what is a healthy weight, what is a good size, what’s cool, who to admire and how to feel about these messages.
Many kids are very critical of themselves – feeling “too fat” and not cool enough – but it’s important to remember that models and celebrities have different lives than we do.
They are styled by hairdressers, have people who buy their clothes and often have the luxury of spending all day working out (not healthy!), this isn’t really like a kid’s life. These stars are fun to watch but not fun to try and imitate!
Healthy and happy people come in all shapes, sizes and weights. Taking care of yourself, eating healthy foods and exercising are all more important than what you weigh.
Will I make the team?
Lots of kids really want to play sports and as you get older, athletics become more competitive. Coaches may cut players from teams to have the right number of kids. And in some sports, there are different levels of play.
If your dream has been to play sports for a living, it is tough to not make the team and be left out. Talk to your parent, coach or friend about these fears, as keeping them to yourself will probably only make you feel worse. Try to give yourself the best chance you can to compete by following healthy living and fitness tips, and getting the help you need to keep playing in a good way!
How Do I know what my body needs?
Try to listen to your body! Your body knows when it needs sleep – you feel tired and sometimes even feel sick if you get overtired. If your body is telling you to sleep, try to get to bed earlier or have a quick nap. (If you need help with sleep, go to Sleep Hacks.)
The same goes for feeling hungry, stressed or sick. There are good reasons why your body is giving you these messages – it needs food, stress relief, or medical help. Always tell an adult – someone in your family, at school, a school nurse or coach - if you feel sick and need help.