Active Adolescents

Teens need exercise just like everyone else.

When kids are young, you wonder where they get all their energy. But as they enter the teenage years, they suddenly want to sleep all the time. Where did their energy go?

Many teens fall into a routine of little physical activity. Sleep, school, friends, and screen time take over their lives and exercise often gets pushed to the side. While exercise may not be high on the list of teenagers’ priorities, it should be.

Benefits of Teenage Exercise

Teens that are more into video games than playing basketball may not want to hear it, but adolescents need an hour of physical activity each day for health and wellness. This should include cardio exercise and strength training activities.

One of the big reasons teens need exercise is for weight control. Exercise burns stored fat cells for energy. If a teen needs to lose weight or simply wants to maintain a current healthy, exercise and a healthy diet are necessary. Exercise leads to strong muscles. Strong muscles burn more calories—even adolescents are sitting around doing nothing, and they give your adolescent that sleek body they want, so it’s a win-win.

During the teenage years, the bones are growing quickly. Exercise and calcium help strengthen those developing bones and the muscles surrounding them.

Acne can be an annoying and embarrassing problem for teenagers. If your teen is struggling with acne, tell him or her that exercise can help. Physical activity increases blood flow, which delivers vital nutrients to the skin. On top of this, sweating during exercise helps cleanse the skin of toxins and dirt.

The teenage years can be a stressful time. Developing bodies, raging hormones, difficult schoolwork, and tension with friends and parents can cause stress. Exercise is a healthy way to manage and relieve stress. Exercise reduces the stress hormone, and after exercising, the heart rate slows, muscles relax, and blood pressure goes down.

Have a teenager who’s always in a bad mood? Exercise can cure that. During physical activity, endorphins are released that improve the mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Tired of your teenager lying around bored all day? Exercise will build his confidence and give him something fun to do with friends.

Motivating a Teen

Physical activity should be a required part of a teenager’s daily routine, but it’s important to let them decide for themselves what kind of exercise they’ll do. Once they’re interested in an activity, parents can support them (within reason) by buying equipment, providing transportation, and encouraging their interests.
Kids who are out of shape should start slowly. Too much too fast could lead to injury and burnout. Help them set attainable goals and praise them for success.

In the quest to get your adolescent moving, make exercise fun. Let your kid try various activities until he finds what he or she enjoys most. The options are endless, so keep an open mind. Team sports are a great option. These help to stay in shape, enjoy time with friends, and boost their self-esteem.

No matter how much you want your adolescent to work out, it’s not going to work if you’re not walking the walk. Teenagers are more likely to be motivated to exercise if they see you reaping the benefits from physical activity. Who knows? Let your kids see you exercise, and they may want to exercise with you. What a great opportunity to bond with your teenager!

Balance Is Needed

Obesity is a real problem for many teenagers. Unfortunately, some teens struggle with an opposite problem—one in which exercise becomes an obsession. Pressures to lose weight and body image problems contribute to unhealthy exercise habits.

Speak with a health professional if you’re concerned about your child’s weight. Your doctor can help develop a fitness plan for healthy weight management.