The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends at least 60 minutes of dynamic physical activity (moderate to vigorous intensity) per day for adolescents.

Doing a physical activity for more than 60 minutes per day provides additional health benefits.

Daily physical activity should mainly consist of aerobic activity. Activities that strengthen muscles and bones should be incorporated at least 3 times a week.

Examples of activities and their intensity

Moderate intensity:

(a slight increase in breathing speed and heart rate, no perspiration)

Walking briskly, riding a bike (on level ground), swimming, tidying your bedroom, dancing, aqua aerobics, downhill skiing, racket sports, taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking the dog, helping in the garden, lifting/moving heavy loads, etc.

High intensity:

(heavy breathing on the verge of breathlessness, considerable increase in heart rate, perspiration)

Walking fast, climbing stairs, cycling, jogging, vigorous swimming, aerobics, team and competitive sports, etc.

N.B. : Intensity can vary from one person to another depending on their fitness.

Why should I be more active ?

Being active helps you keep fit, but physical exercise also helps you boost your mood, cope better with stress and improve sleep quality.

Regular activity helps to :

  • improve heart and lung function. Even after walking a short distance, you can feel your heart beating, your breathing improves, and you feel relaxed.
  • maintain muscle strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and muscle tone.
  • increase bone mass, i.e. the strength of our bones.
  • increase stamina to combat fatigue more effectively.
  • revitalise you in times of stress.

How can I be more active ?

Taking every opportunity to move around during the day can mean you spend quite a lot of time doing physical activity.

  • Take the stairs and forget the lift.
  • Walk or cycle to school, if possible.
  • Get off the bus etc. one or two stops early.
  • Do you have a dog? Walk him around the neighbourhood every day.
  • Arrange with friends to go swimming at the weekend or during the school holidays.
  • Being active is more fun with other people.
  • You could run with your friends in the local park.
  • Limit sedentary and screen time.

If you spend a lot of time in front of your computer, get up regularly to do some movement and walking for a few minutes.

Why not take up a sport ?

Alongside regular daily physical activity, playing sport is recommended as it helps maintain fitness. It's also a good way to meet new people and unwind. Every sport has its own characteristics, so you can choose one to match your interests.

  • For those who like team spirit: football, basketball, handball, hockey, volleyball, etc.
  • For those who like to push themselves: athletics, cycling, gymnastics, swimming, climbing, etc.
  • To pit yourself against an individual opponent: kendo, fencing, karate, judo, tennis, table tennis, etc.
  • To combine physical activity with music: dance - contemporary, modern jazz, classical, hip hop, zumba, salsa, etc.
  • To strengthen muscles, improve balance and breathing, and to relax: yoga, tai chi, etc.

Published by the Health Directorate (Direction de la santé)

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