Fitness and Your 13-18-Year Old

Kids go through a lot of changes when they hit the teen years. They experience growth spurts, as well as number of other physical changes. They also experience peer pressure, and the need to be accepted.

Activity level also declines at this stage, which is unfortunate because being physically active has many benefits. Regular physical activity helps teens maintain a healthy weight, and feel more en energetic. What’s more, regular physical activity helps fend off several diseases and medical conditions.

Fitness during teen years

Experts recommend that teens get at least an hour of physical activity each day of the week.

Teens should be provided with plenty of opportunities to get fit. Allow them to go skateboarding, biking, or in-line skating around your neighborhood. Or sign them up for dance, swimming, or yoga classes, or let them join organized sports. You can ever let them undergo weight training, provided that they are supervised by a certified trainer or qualified adult. Weight training can improve strength and prevent injuries.

There are a lot of ways teens can incorporate physical activities in their schedule. For instance, instead of taking the bus, teens can walk home from school. They can also find part-time jobs that allow them to be active such being camp counselors, or assistant coaches for sports teams. Even doing chores can help teens get some exercise.

Motivating teens to be active

Today’s teens face too many distractions that keep them from being active. According to several studies, teens spend more than 6 hours a day on various media such as watching TV, listening to music, surfing the net, and playing video games.

Parents need to make teens see that getting some exercise and being fit is important. But they need to tread carefully. Teens are at that stage where they are trying to define themselves, thus they are reluctant to follow another thing that they’re told to do. Make them see that you’re not against anything that they’re doing, but it’s important to be physically active regularly.

One they get into it, most teens enjoy the sense of well-being, increased strength and energy, and reduced stress. They may even gravitate towards exercise without being prodded by parents.

To keep your teen motivated, follow the following tips:

  • Keep activities fun.
  • Support you teen’s choices by providing equipment, transportation, and companionship.
  • Let your kids be active with their friends. Being active with friends creates an opportunity for social interaction.

You can also help your teen remain active by finding an exercise that fits hits or her schedule. If your teen does not have the time to play a team sport at school or in your community, maybe you can help him or her sign up for a teen membership at your local gym, which they can visit after school. You can also suggest doing home exercise videos. Limit your teen’s idle time watching TV or using the computer.

Source: kidshealth.org