Active for Life activities for children and young people

Be active

Being physically active is an important aspect of maintaining health and wellbeing and it’s great to encourage children from a young age to create that active habit for life!  

But how active should children and young people be?  

Early years

Being active is something that should be encouraged from birth and even small babies can be encouraged to move more. For babies that are not yet mobile, 30 minutes of tummy time spread across the day while awake should be encouraged, but this may be an unfamiliar movement for a baby at first, so start with 1 to 2 minutes and gradually increase the duration. Reaching for toys, rolling over, or playing all involve moving and should be encouraged.

If you’ve recently given birth, you might enjoy being active with your baby. Read these guidelines for some more ideas: 

Toddlers and pre-schoolers (1 to 4 years) should also be encouraged to spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day in a variety of physical activities, both indoor and outdoor play, spread throughout the day. More is better. The 180 minutes should include at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity. 

Read these guidelines for a brief summary of how your child (1-5 years) can move more: 

School aged children and young people

Did you know that children between the ages of 5 to 18 should try to be active for 60 minutes per day in moderate to vigorous physical activity across the week?  

However, getting our quota doesn’t have to be all in one go. It can be in small chunks throughout the day, and every little counts. We should aim to move in a way that makes us feel warmer and increases our heart rate slightly.  

What is moderate to vigorous physical activity?  

Moderate intensity activities such as brisk walking, cycling, riding a scooter, playing, make us breathe faster, our heart rate increases, and we begin to feel warm. We are usually able to talk but not sing while doing them.  

Vigorous intensity activities such as running, swimming fast, competitive sport like playing football, netball require a large amount of effort, resulting in a much faster heart rate and rapid breathing. They usually make it difficult for us to talk without pausing.  

Children and young people should engage in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength. 

What type of activity develops muscular fitness, bone strength and movement skills?  

Examples of activities that strengthen muscle and bone, include:

  • walking
  • running
  • jumping
  • hopping
  • skipping
  • cycling

For older young people activities  include:

  • circuit training
  • piliates,
  • yoga
  • ball games
  • racquet sports

Movement skills can be developed by activities focused on fundamental movement skills, such as:  

  • agility – movement on our feet – change of direction and speed
  • balance – hopping, jumping, balance on different surfaces
  • co-ordination – throwing, catching, sending and receiving skills

Physical activity can strengthen our muscles by using all of our major muscle groups during the activity and our bones, by stimulating bone growth and repair.  

Children and young people should aim to reduce the amount of time spent being sedentary, and when physically possible should break up long periods of not moving with at least light physical activity. 

For further information read physical activity for children and young people: 5 to 18 years

Our sessions

Who are Active for Life sessions for?  

Our sessions are for anyone wishing to get and stay active. They are suitable for children and young people of all ages and abilities. They are a great stepping stone to help your child get active and gain confidence, in a safe and fun environment.  

How do I join?  

Most of our face-to-face sessions are drop in so you are welcome to just turn up.  

For courses that are advertised as booking-only please contact the team directly. 

What should I expect on arrival?  

When you arrive at the venue you will be welcomed by our friendly Active for Life team member. If it is your first visit you will be asked to complete our registration form before taking part.  

Please arrive ten minutes before the start to give yourself plenty of time to register. 

What should I wear, and do I need to bring anything?  

We recommend wearing comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely and trainers. We also recommend bringing a bottle of water to drink when you need it.  

Our current programmes include:

In-person Active for Life sessions 

Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Sessions Active for Life Club Youth Dance Collective –
AFL session 
Active for Life Club Active for Life Club
Location Manor Road Gym The Studio East Brighton Portslade Village Centre Portslade Village Centre
Session timings 3.30pm to 4.30pm 5pm to 6pm 3.30pm to 4.30pm 4.45pm to 6pm
Ages 7 to 11
(School years 3 to 6)
11 to 16
(School years 7 to 11)
7 to 11
(School years 3 to 6)
11 to 14
(School years 6 to 9)
Session costs Free £2 per session Free Free

 

 

Other opportunities to get active  

To find out about other opportunities in the city visit our Activity Providers (brighton-hove.gov.uk) directory which will provide you with a list of local sport and physical activity clubs and groups.  

To find out more about the cities leisure facilities and parks go to: 

For free online activities and ideas about staying active go to:  

Also follow the Healthy Lifestyles Team Facebook page for updates about physical activity ideas and information in the city.  

Contact us

If you need to contact us, please email us at: healthylifestyles@brighton-hove.gov.uk  

You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.