Exercise and your Teen: What You Need to Know

Exercise is great for people of all ages; however, the focus here is on teenagers. It’s generally known that teenage years are the most sensitive. This is the period they want to do things the way they want it, whether it’s abstract or otherwise. They develop changes in certain body parts and begin to have a different outlook to life.

Teenager’s primarily like to sit more and thereby exercise less. It is of great value to teenagers to exercise, but, could their disinterest in exercise be due to lack of education In this area? Here are some reasons why teens should be encouraged to exercise, the result of lack of exercise and how you can get them to be inseparable thereafter.

Benefits of Exercise for your Teen

Staying fit does so much good to teenagers more than adults because they are still in their growing years. It helps their skin, their mind and their mood. During the puberty years, regular exercise helps in weight control, helps to strengthen muscles, ensures better mood and less drama, a lower heart rate and an improved complexion. Strong muscles help to burn more calories and exercise is vital to the growth. By ensuring muscle growth, you can prevent obesity which has become somewhat prevalent nowadays. Walking, running, dancing and jogging are all moderate exercises which keeps the bone strong.

Exercise helps improve or sustain a good performance in the academic environment as it helps in brain building. It also helps to release the ‘feel good hormone’ such as endorphin and dopamine. It helps to reduce stress by improving the energy level whilst sustaining strength.

 Effects of lack of exercise

Lack of exercise in teens has many negative effects. Without light or moderate exercise, teens are more likely to be overweight or obese. The muscles remain weak. There is a higher risk of developing ailments such as type 2 diabetes, inconsistent breathing and unhealthy blood cholesterol level.

There are also emotional side effects such as depression, anxiety and bad mood swings. When a person engages in exercise, beneficial chemicals in the brain help to regulate the body and the mind, thereby resulting in a general happy go lucky mood, in the absence of this, the opposite is the case. Depression is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and one way to treat depression is engaging in exercise frequently.

It is understandable that exercise does not come naturally to many people. In addition, teens may have heavy school or home workload, thereby giving less room to exercise. However, it is not necessary to go to the gym or have a set planned routine before exercise can take place. There are different ways one can involve exercise in daily activities.

How to get your teen to love exercise

As a parent, you will need to start small, by setting small achievable exercise goals. You should lead by example. Be the role model. Create fun ways to make it enjoyable; Dancing is a good way to exercise. Play some rock music whilst using the mill in your home gym. Another fun way is to ride a bicycle to and from school. Once riding is a routine, using equipment such as spin bikes will not be seen as a chore; it becomes flawlessly enjoyable. You can also try activities such as ice skating, basketball, football, swimming or skiing.  Encourage taking of stairs often, rather than lifts. Join your teen while exercising, to encourage its continuity. The more the merrier they say.

Educating teens about the importance of exercise is the bedrock of whetting their appetite. For example, telling a girl that it helps to reduce menstrual cramps or telling a boy it reduces the outbreak of acne which happens to invade their faces at the teen age, will definitely get them loving it. You may also need to be firm in turning off devices such as television, mobile phones, game consoles which take up their time.

Lastly, do not forcefully choose a particular exercise type, let your teen choose. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to help with an enrollment in a ‘martial art academy’. Ideally, 3-4 days of 30-60 mins exercise should be enough to grant the mentioned benefits to your teen. Start now.