Why Exercise is Cool

Kids exercise all the time without even thinking of it. Just being active, like when you run around outside or play kickball at school, is a kind of exercise. What else counts as exercise? Playing sports, dancing, doing push-ups, and even reaching down to touch your toes.

When you exercise, you’re helping build a strong body that will be able to move around and do all the stuff you need it to do. Try to be active every day and your body will thank you later!

Exercise Makes Your Heart Happy

You may know that your heart is a muscle. It works hard, pumping blood every day of your life. You can help this important muscle get stronger by doing aerobic (say: air-OH-bik) exercise.

Exercise is good for your lungs. Which of these is your favorite?
Biking Swimming Dancing Running Other

Aerobic means “with air,” so aerobic exercise is a kind of activity that requires oxygen. When you breathe, you take in oxygen, and, if you’re doing aerobic exercise, you may notice you’re breathing faster than normal. Aerobic activity can get your heart pumping, make you sweaty, and quicken your breathing.

When you give your heart this kind of workout on a regular basis, your heart will get even better at its main job — delivering oxygen (in the form of oxygen-carrying blood cells) to all parts of your body.

So you want to do some aerobic exercise right now?
Try swimming, basketball, ice or roller hockey, jogging (or walking quickly), inline skating, soccer, cross-country skiing, biking, or rowing. And don’t forget that skipping, jumping rope, and playing hopscotch are aerobic activities, too!

Exercise Strengthens Muscles

Another kind of exercise can help make your muscles stronger. Did you ever do a push-up or swing across the monkey bars at the playground? Those are exercises that can build strength. By using your muscles to do powerful things, you can make them stronger. For older teens and adults, this kind of workout can make muscles bigger, too.

Here are some exercises and activities to build strong muscles:

  • push-ups
  • pull-ups
  • tug-of-war
  • rowing
  • running
  • inline skating
  • bike riding
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