Why and How to Play 60

Health experts recommend that young people get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.  Here’s why and how to meet this goal!  You can track your physical activity – and earn rewards and recognition – at FuelUpToPlay60.com.

What are the benefits?

Being physically active is important for lots of reasons:

It helps you look and feel your best.  Physical activity can give you more energy, improve your self-image and help you manage stress.  Staying active helps shape your muscles, can help you maintain a healthy weight and can improve your posture!  Stand tall and proud!  It helps you have a healthy heart and body, now and later.  High blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, bone weakness and heart disease are things we hear about in older people – our parents, grandparents and others. The truth is that these diseases can begin in youth.  Sixty minutes of daily physical activity helps build long-term health.  By becoming more active now, you’re building healthy habits that can keep you healthy when YOU might be a grandparent.

It is a great way to make friends and stay on the right path.  Participating in physical activity (like a sports teams or walking club) can help you make friends while you get fit.  You’ll learn teamwork, self-discipline and make some friends along the way.

It may help you learn.  Kids who are more physically active tend to perform better academically.  Physical activity can help students manage stress, improve self-esteem, cognitive function and test scores.

How do I make it happen?

Being active for 60 minutes a day isn’t as hard as it might seem – after all, a day is made up of 1,440 minutes!  It doesn’t have to be done all at once, and there are LOTS of ways to do it.  There’s almost no limit to the ways you can get and stay active.  Join a team, play with a friend, take a walk, ride your bike.  The best activity to do is the one (or the ones) you WILL do.

Find the time to fit it in. Break up your activity into smaller time periods:

  • 20 minutes of walking in the morning; 15 minutes jumping rope with friends after school; 25 minutes playing football or another sport at home with family or at practice on a team.  That’s 60!
  • 10 minutes riding your bike to school; 20 minutes walking around the track at lunchtime; 10 minutes riding your bike home; 20 minutes swimming at the YMCA.  That’s 60!
  • 30 minutes playing tag at the park with your little brother or sister; 20 minutes walking to the store and back for your neighbor; 10 minutes raking the front lawn.  That’s 60! 

Getting, and staying, physically active will help you now – and help you in the future.  So choose an activity and get active!