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Move your body

13 Years & Older

Did you know that when you move your body, it improves your body image? That’s right, movement is a simple but powerful tool to help us feel good about our bodies, accept them and feel proud of what they’re capable of doing.

It doesn’t matter what kind of movement you do – you could be learning a dance routine with friends, going on a bushwalk, taking your dog for a walk or stretching in your room. As long as you are moving your body in a way that feels safe and enjoyable, you’re doing it right. If you dread it or always want to put it off, it’s probably a sign to try something new.

So grab your friends and turn up the music… it’s time to move!

Let’s face it – it’s not always easy to find a way to move your body that feels fun or fits in with the rest of your life. Maybe you don’t have many facilities near your house, or it’s hard to find time for sports around homework, your part-time job and other activities. As our bodies change and grow, not only during puberty but also for the rest of our adult lives, our preferences for certain types of sport and physical activity will change too.

For example, you might have loved ballet as a little kid, but then it got kind of serious and you weren’t so keen on wearing the leotard anymore. Now you’d much rather play basketball with your friends or do a yoga class on YouTube. This will happen throughout your entire life, and it’s totally fine! You’ll change jobs, develop new relationships, move house… there are all sorts of life events that will influence the type of movement you want to do. Being flexible and open to new things is an important part of finding what feels best for you and your body.

Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after a dance class or soccer game? It’s because movement and physical activity increases the ‘happy hormones’ produced in our brains, called endorphins. Being active also makes our muscles stronger, our heart beat more efficiently and our brain focus and think better. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know that they need to be walked each day to stay healthy and happy (and not completely destroy your favourite sneakers). It’s the same for humans, especially as we grow or life becomes more stressful.

Sport and exercise have lots of other benefits too, like meeting new friends. You and your teammates will never forget your shared experiences on the netball court or soccer field, and you may even make some friends for life. If team sports aren’t for you, a walk around the park with a friend is a great chance to chat about all the crazy things that happened at school that day.

When we focus on these types of benefits, it’s pretty clear that moving our bodies has nothing to do with how we look… it’s all about feeling great on the inside!

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    Do what you love!
Life is too short to be pushing through movement that doesn’t make you feel good. You don’t have to be the best, score a goal or get a 10/10 every time. Try new things and experiment with moving your body in lots of different ways.
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    Rest is important too.
When you’ve worked hard in a game of football, your muscles need time to repair, refuel and reset. Pushing our bodies when they are tired means we are more likely to get sick, injured or stop enjoying things.
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    Have a go.
What’s the worst that could happen? You won’t know if you like a new sport or activity unless you try it, and it might even become your favourite type of movement! Many clubs or teams have come-and-try days so you can give it a go without committing to a whole season.
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    Movement doesn’t just have to be about sport.
You might not actually enjoy organised sports and that’s totally fine. Why not try rock climbing, roller skating, yoga, dancing to YouTube videos or going for a walk with friends instead?

Interactive Downloads

Download these free resources to help you embrace your body!

Move Your
Body Printable
Art

Move
Your Body
Bingo

Move Nourish Respect Enjoy Printable

Instrument Not
An Ornament Printable Quote

#IHaveEmbraced Pledge Desktop Wallpaper

Interview
Family & Friends -
Worksheet 1

QUIZMASTER

Read each question and think about the answer then use your mouse (or finger if you’re on mobile) to select the coloured tiles one by one to see if you were right!

True or False. Signing up for a sports team is the BEST way to move your body.

False. Moving your body can take many different forms. It can be through sport, but it doesn’t have to be.

Who is the only person who can tell if you’re enjoying the movement that you’re doing?

You! You’re the only one to know what it feels like to do something, not even your parents can tell you what it feels like to be in your body.

Finish this sentence.

The next time I want to try a new form of movement I’m going to try…

Reflective Question.

What does it feel like to feel good in my body? Be specific. Do you feel better in your brain, does your mood improve, does it mean you wake up from sleep feeling well rested…

What are the cues that tell you when your body is tired?

We should listen to our body and rest. When we have a little more energy, we can then go back to doing the movement that we love. Pay attention to the cues that tell you, you are tired.

Which is not a type of movement?
(A) roller-skating
(B) trampolining
(C) reading a sports book
(D) playing at the beach

C – reading a sports book. Whilst it might make our bodies feel good, it doesn’t move our muscles, speed up our heartbeat or make us puff.

True or false. Going hiking in nature improves our mood, problem solving ability and stress.

True! Hiking is a great way to connect with our environment and it has benefits long after we have stopped hiking.

Reflective Question.

What’s a type of movement that you’ve never done, but you would love to try?

My commitment to myself

I will accept and appreciate my body.
I will fuel and move my body because it feels good!
I know that I have special magic – unique only to me.
What I look like is not as important as what I do and who I am being in this world.
I will Embrace my body and encourage other people to do the same.

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