Webpage written by Beth age 18 from Leeds


How much exercise is needed?
  • Young people aged 5 to 18 need on average 60 minutes of exercise per day 
  • There are 2 types of exercise that can be done. Exercise such as walking or running and exercise that helps to strengthen muscles and bones
  • Food and exercise can be very helpful to each other. You should be consuming the right amount of calories for the amount of exercise you are doing 
Why exercise?

1. You will sleep better

2. It reduces your stress levels

3. It makes you physically and mentally stronger

4. It gives you more energy 

5. It improves your coordination and balance

6. It improves your cardiovascular fitness

7. It increases your self confidence


Your school is required to have PE lessons from the ages of 4 to 16 offering a range of sports to try out and participate in extra curricular activities.

Where in West Yorkshire can you exercise for free?

At home:
  • Use materials you can find around the house as exercise equipment such as:
    • Fill a backpack with heavy items and squat with them 
    • Use tables or chairs to tricep dip 
    • Use an old skipping rope to skip 
    • Use your own body to exercise by doing things such as burpees, planks and push ups
  • Use free online videos that have a set routine for you to follow for example: 
  •  The Body Coach (Joe Wicks) 

  •  The British Heart Foundation workouts 

 NHS videos in collaboration with Instructor Live 

Out and about:

 Park run is an event that runs every Sunday morning at 9am at parks across West Yorkshire. The 5km run is suitable for age 14+. There is a junior park run that is 2km in length for anyone under 14. There is no time limit. You can walk, jog or run it and everyone is welcome.

 Find your nearest junior park run   ​​​​​

 Find your nearest 5k park run 

 NHS Couch to 5K helps you gradually work up towards running 5km in just 9 weeks. It is a running plan for complete beginners. 

Parks and green spaces

A free way to access facilities is by using the natural environment. Through these links you can find parks and green spaces in your area:







Leisure facilities in the community

Around our region there are many facilities that offer you a wide range of sporting activities. Click the links to find out more:







Other resources

To find out what is available locally use the Yorkshire Activity Finder.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of exercise?

  • Improved brain health 
  • Helps manage a healthy weight 
  • Reduces the risk of disease 
  • Strengthens bones and muscles 
  • Improves your ability to complete everyday tasks

How old do I need to be to go to a gym alone?

Some fitness facilities allow young adults to go to the gym unsupervised from age 16.

Some require a parent or guardian to sign a waiver form to allow unsupervised use.

Most gyms offer young people an induction where you are shown how to use the equipment.

You should check with your gym before turning up.

What sporting memberships are available to me?

There are different types of gym memberships available for different age ranges such as a junior membership for 12 to 15 year olds and a student membership for 16+.

Visit your local council webpage (see above) to find what memberships are available for you.

Can I use supplements to aid exercise?

Supplements cannot replace a healthy balanced diet while you are exercising. You should always do some research before taking any kind of exercise supplements. Some supplements in moderation may aid exercise although some may be harmful. 

Your body is still growing and developing. It is a common myth that consuming lots of excess protein gives people bigger muscles. 

Concerns have been raised that while some products may be suitable for professional athletes, younger people could be putting their health at risk because of a lack of testing. Workout supplements are not regulated. Sometimes they are contaminated with other products or medicines which are harmful. 

 Health For Teens provide some advice on protein shakes. 

Can I exercise too much?

Too much exercise may lead to negative consequences such as:

  • Losing weight 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Needing longer periods of rest
  • Losing motivation 
  • Becoming injured
  • Feeling sore