Sure, some people LOVE exercising at school. Whether it’s team games, athletics, gymnastics, absolutely bossing the bleep test – a little sporting activity during the school day can be a lot of fun.

But, whether it’s because you don’t get on with other people in your class (but now have to shower with them, hello), you’re made to do really long cross country runs in the dead of winter like something out of an Enid Blyton book, or you get all hot and sweaty before maths class when you have that crush sat right behind you… sometimes PE can suck.

Really suck.

The thing is, moving about is (breaking news!) really good for you. Working out gets your heart pumping, can improve your skin and does wonders for your mood. This means it’s important for your health – inside and out – to exercise, but not that it has to be boring or happen in school hours to make a difference.

Here are seven ways to work out that are about eleventy times more fun than anything that happens in PE lessons.

(NB: must also pay attention in maths)

Rihanna work work gif

1. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk

We know, it sounds obvious. It sounds boring. It sounds like something you do every day anyway, doesn’t it? But adding just a few more steps here and there can actually make you feel a lot better – and there’s nothing nicer than getting fresh air after double physics. Luckily what last year we called ‘walking’, this year we call ‘playing Pokemon Go’. Have you caught them all yet?

Liz Lemon dancing gif

2. Dancing queeeeen

Whether you’re at a party with a big group of friends or just rocking out in front of your mirror, dancing is scientifically-proven to be the most fun form of exercise, ever. (Well, if science is based on us asking all of our friends and them agreeing with us.) The best thing about dancing is: the more you do it and the more of your body you move, the better it is for you.

3. Walk, sprint, jog (then do it all over again)

Walking can be boring. Sprinting can be tiring. What’s the answer? Do a bit of everything! Mixing some walking with a bit of sprinting, then switching back to walking again, then finishing off with jogging gets your body really moving. It adds variety to your workout and it’s a tried-and-tested way to keep very fit. You can make it even more fun by taking a friend with you – or get good pet karma and take your dog.

Foxes on trampoline

4. Trampolining, bouncy castle-ing and general jumping

Trampolining is so much fun, because it makes you feel like a little kid again. Bounce around, do some tricks and make sure you do lots of laughing when anyone falls over – it’s kinda the rules. NB: this tip also works just as well on a bouncy castle.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ice skating

5. It’s time to get your skates on

Roller skating is a great way to have fun with your friends, move about a lot and keep your body working – it actually takes a lot of muscle strength to keep your body balanced. Feeling frosty? Try ice skating instead.

Swimming baby underwater

6. Splash around

If you love to swim and doing length after length doesn’t bore you, go for it you athlete! But for most of us, it’s much more fun to dunk each other’s heads in the water and see if we can totally nail a handstand on the bottom of the pool. If you’re feeling ambitious, get your mates together and dream up your very own synchronised swimming routine. With a little bit of practice you’ll have everyone around you super impressed by your seamless moves – or it’ll just be a great thing to have a giggle about on the way home.

Dog on a bike

7. Get on your bike

That’s right, it’s time to dig your old bike out from your shed and take it for a spin. As long as you have a helmet you can explore your local area on two wheels rather than just two feet. It might be easier than walking (and it’s definitely easier than running), but it gives your legs a good workout.

Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, try a unicycle. You’ll find growing numbers of acrobatic skills classes in most areas – so if the thought of double hockey in the rain really gets too much, you can always run off and join the circus.

@BeccaCaddy

Image: Hailey Hamilton

It’s a playground taunt that has been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth (yep, even T-Rexes had to put up with this rubbish).

“You throw like a girl!”

Whenever someone would inevitably squawk that put-down at me in our PE class, I would feel myself shrink; embarrassed by my femininity, by the boobs that had sprouted one day on my chest and refused to move, by the knowledge that I was, supposedly, always going to be worse at sport than the boys in my class.

I heard, “you throw like a girl” and understood that doing anything “like a girl” was an insult. There was something bad about being associated with girls, despite that fact that, you know… I was one.

Because girls are bad at throwing, right? Girls are bad at sports. Girls are weak and delicate and are only good to be cheerleaders, or (if they’re really lucky!), the wives and girlfriends of sportsmen.

Here’s what I wish I had said to the kids who had tried to use “like a girl” as an insult:

Thank you.

Because doing anything “like a girl” shouldn’t be an insult, it should be a compliment. Let’s remind ourselves of a few cold, hard facts:

1. Twenty-six of 58 gold medals Team GB won at the Rio Olympics were won by girls.

2. (One of whom, by the way, was the first in history to win an Olympic boxing title – your girl Nicola Adams up there.)

3. A girl wrote the best-selling book series in history.

4. Our Prime Minister is a girl and a girl is probably going to be the next President of the United States of America.

5. There is a girl up in space right now, living in the International Space Station as a flight engineer.

So yes, I throw like a girl, and I’m damn proud of it.

A League Of Their Own baseball catch scene

Main image: Getty

There is a rule, written somewhere in the Unfair Laws of the Universe, that says two of the first three weeks of September have to be unbearably hot. This is frustrating for a variety reasons.

Firstly, school has gone back. Which means that summer holidays are over and there is no way to harness the heat into a day trip to the beach or another peanut butter Magnum opportunity. On its own this might just be bearable (at least there’s everyone’s back-to-school hair experiments to distract you), but then they insist that you have to do PE.

Now of course, exercise itself isn’t the problem. In fact, it’s pretty damn excellent; it helps boost your mood, reduces stress, does wonders for your skin and helps you live to 112.

No, the problem is that they make you run around a field when it’s a million degrees outside. Or they make you do sit-ups and pull-ups and push-ups when literally nothing about your body wants to be ‘up’. In fact, in wants to be down. As in, lying down. Preferably on a beach, or on the floor of a deeply air-conditioned room listening to a soundtrack of a beach.

But teachers can be cruel, as can September. So allow us to present: your post-PE survival guide (summer edition), to make those endless, sweaty games of netball a little more bearable.

You go, you future Olympian, you.

1. Water bottle

Sure this one seems obvious, but when half of your class are lining up for the water fountain with red faces and dry mouths, you’ll be the smug one sitting in the shade, drinking deeply from your water bottle without a care in the world. Aside from your heart rate.

Happy Jackson’s H2Awesome Water Bottle, £7.96

Copy of Waterbottle

2. Braids – Dutch, French, Pigtail, whatever you fancy 

Pre-PE, pop your hair in braids. If you think people who can braid their own hair are sorcerers (you’re not alone in this), see if you can find someone who can braid them for you and save your arms the pain (after all we’re in the business of making PE less, not more traumatic). This way, when you take your hair out after PE you’ll have skipped the dreaded kink and given yourself beachy waves.

Also, look how weirdly happy this girl about the braid in her hair! Oh wait, that’s me. I’m the weirdly happy girl in the photo. Carry on.

(£0, obv)

Copy of Braids

3. Wipes

Let’s be honest, people should carry wipes around in the same way they carry around tissues. They are useful in pretty much all situations. Spilled some sauce on your top? A wipe can fix that. Need to blow your nose? A wipe can handle that situation whilst also cleansing your skin. Had double PE and your body is now ¾ sweat and ¼ skin? A wipe has your back. And your front.

These ones from Wilkos have the benefit of being both gloriously cheap and great for sensitive skin. Plus, cleaning your face after exercising can help keep spots at bay #winning.

Skin therapy Fragrance Free Wipes for Sensitive Skin, 50p   

Copy of Facewipes
4. BB cream

BB cream is like the superhero of the make up bag. On the outside it looks like a regular moisturiser, but in reality, it’s full of secret powers. This one from La Roche-Posay has SPF 20, so it will protect you from the sun. It’s tinted, so if you’re all red and blotchy after PE, it will give your skin a nice, even tone. Plus, it’s made for oily skin, so it can help mop up that post-hockey shine.

Pop a thin layer on after wiping down with your wipes. It might not be as cool as invisibility or flight, but hey, we’ll take whatever super power we can get.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Mousse, £14

Copy of BB cream

 

5. Dry Shampoo  

Braids can do many things – like make you look like Princess Leia or a member of the Von Trapp family – but they draw the line at keeping your hair grease-free. Enter our BFF (barnet fixer forever) when your hair is less ‘beachy waves’ and more ‘it looks like I’ve been swimming in a frying pan.’ Batiste have a range of scents (our fave is blush) and they even come in travel sizes, so you don’t have to sacrifice your geography homework for bag space. Shame.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Blush Floral and Flirty, £2.99

Copy of Dry shampoo

6. Socks

We know it sounds like something your mum would say, but a spare pair of socks really go a long way in bringing down the pong factor. Sure, some schools have regulation socks that are all boring and navy or whatever but this pair is awesome and we wanted you to see them.

But seriously, pack a spare pair of socks that you can change into after PE – your feet and your classmates will thank you. Manufacturers of athlete’s foot treatments will not.

ASOS Pug On Heel Ankle Socks, £3 

Copy of pug socks

7. Body Spray

Watermelon Body freakin’ Oil Spray. Do I really need to say more? No, seriously, do I? This is a moisturizing body spray that smells like watermelon. Spritz some of this around you (neck, wrists, hair) to leave you smelling fresh even after you’ve played an hour of field hockey.

Original Source Skin Quench Watermelon Body Oil Spray, £6.99 

Copy of Body Spray

 

Image: Clueless