From smartphones and social media to teen braces and facial breakouts, teenagers are preoccupied with so many things conducive to a sedentary lifestyle at home. This could pose a problem as teenage years are supposed to be a time for growth both physically and emotionally and a time when exercise is needed the most.
How much is enough?
Recent studies show that one out of five teenage kids gets the required amount of exercise every day. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 are advised to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity, with at least three times a week of strengthening, to gain any meaningful health benefits.
Doing exercises in a group, especially with other kids, also gives them the chance to enhance their social and emotional skills. This would prove useful as they journey through adulthood and face the challenges of living independently.
What types of activities could teenagers do?
Physical activities for teens fall into two major categories; the more traditional planned activity and the inconspicuous incidental exercise.
If you can convince your kids to voluntarily do exercises, the better. This would fall under a planned activity. It should be a combination of aerobic and strengthening exercises.
Aerobic exercises involve moderate to high-intensity movements from activities such as running, skateboarding, biking, or soccer. These exercises strengthen the heart and lungs, and at the same time, increase their capacity to do more exercise.
On the other hand, strengthening exercises in combination with proper rest and nutrition accelerate muscle growth. Some examples of this that they can do at home are push-ups, sit-ups, and some plyometric exercises. They can also enroll in a gym for weight training.
Most kids, however, are reluctant to do exercises on their own. If more persuasion is needed, find out if they have a special interest in certain vigorous activities and ask them to plan it with other kids to make it more fun.
Another way to encourage them is to explain the benefit of a healthy body to their appearance. Having a healthy body image puts them one step ahead in gaining more self-confidence. Regular exercise for their body, teen braces for their smile, or proper grooming are some of the low-hanging fruits you can pick for your kids’ overall well-being.
If your kids’ resistance to doing exercises is too much to handle, you may have to get creative in incorporating physical activities in their daily routine to get some form of exercise. These incidental activities are a clever way for teenagers to get healthy outside of the gym, and a good compromise between parents and teens with regards to exercise.
Common examples of incidental activities are taking your dog for a walk regularly, walking to or from school instead of taking the bus, swimming or playing with friends in a pool or at the beach, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You can even invest in “exergames” like Nintendo Wii to encourage some form of physical activity while playing, instead of just sitting on the couch.
Exercise for teenagers
It is essential for teenagers to get the proper amount of exercise, especially at a time when the body and mind are rapidly developing. It is also a great time for them to build healthy habits they would bring with them to adulthood. A healthy body and a healthy mind put them in the best position to succeed later in life and enjoy the present more.