This week in The Virtual Explorers Club we have been learning all about how diet and exercise is really important in helping to keep us healthy.
There are three things that we need to do to keep ourselves healthy, we must eat the right things, exercise often (the recommendation for children is 60 minutes of moderate exercise every single day. Moderate means you can talk while exercising but would not be able to sing!) and not take risks with our health like smoking.
Where do I get my energy from?
Animals, including us as humans can not make our own food, all of the nutrients we need to give us energy comes from what we eat. It is really important for us to eat a healthy and balanced diet, too much of one food group and not enough of the others can cause us to become unwell and stops our body from working in the best way.
The food pyramid
The Food Pyramid shows us how much of each food group we need- at the bottom we have lots of water and right at the top of the pyramid, not too much sugar or fat. We need Carbohydrates for energy, Proteins for muscle growth and repair, Vitamins and Minerals come from fruits & veg, and so does Fibre (which helps our digestive system to run smoothly- check out my blog post for a fun and messy activity that helps explain the process of digestion)
Why is exercise so important?
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is not enough on its own, we must also exercise too. It brings lots of health benefits like strengthening our hearts, developing our lungs, helping us sleep and of course burning off an extra fat our body is storing but doesn’t need.
It’s time to get moving!
This really simple investigation helps you to explore the effects of exercise on our bodies. You won’t need much other than some comfortable clothes, a timer and a pair of trainers.
- Set up a circuits course (e.g. star jumps, running between 2 markers, throwing a ball at a target)
- Before you start exercising think about how you feel and record your thoughts
- Take your pulse by placing two fingers on your wrist or your neck (just below your ear under jaw)- count how many beats you can feel in 15 seconds.
- Warm up by doing some gentle stretches (reaching up to the sky, touching your toes, gentle twists etc). Take your pulse again and also think about how your body is feeling now.
- Spend 10 minutes rotating through the different circuit activities. Record how you feel, measure your heart rate by taking your pulse and observe any changes to your body e.g. out of breath, sweaty, hot, tired etc)
- When it’s time to stop you need to cool down slowly by taking a gentle jog and doing some more stretches. After your cool down take your pulse again and record how you feel.