Fitness For Adolescents

909 views 11:04 am 0 Comments October 13, 2023

Getting teenagers in the habit of regular exercise now can set them up for lifelong healthy habits. Exercise relieves stress, gives kids energy, and improves their overall health.

The CDC recommends teens get at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity daily. This can be anything from playing sports to walking around the block. Click to learn more.

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Adolescents are growing quickly in height and weight, so staying physically active is especially important for this age group. It can help them maintain a healthy body weight, decrease their risk of developing health problems, and create healthy habits that will carry them into adulthood.

While teens are generally motivated to improve their mental and physical health, they may need extra encouragement to work out. Fortunately, most parents want to set a good example by working out themselves.

Most teens need more exercise. Their schedules are busy with school, extracurricular activities, homework, and socializing with friends. Much of their leisure time is spent watching TV, playing video games, and using smartphones or tablets. They need to limit screen time and add in some muscle-strengthening activity — both of which should be part of their recommended hour of daily physical activity.

Getting enough physical activity can help improve mood, boost self-esteem, and increase confidence and concentration. It can also lower stress levels and relieve symptoms of depression. Plus, exercising can release endorphins that make teens happier, which can improve their overall outlook on life.

The most effective ways to encourage teens to be more active include:

  • Setting a good example by exercising together.
  • Making it fun.
  • Being a positive role model.

For example, you could take after-dinner walks or hiking trails, swim in the community pool, or play tennis. You can also join your teen in the gym or at an outdoor fitness event.

In addition to exercise, your teen should include a few days of muscle-strengthening activity each week. This can be done by adding activities like dancing, plyometrics, and power yoga to their routine or using resistance bands, weights, or jumping rope.

If your teen has a chronic health condition, talk to their doctor before starting a new exercise program. They can recommend a safe and effective plan for their particular needs. Also, if your teen is overweight or very sedentary, they may need to start slow and increase their intensity gradually. They should also check with their doctor if they have an existing health condition that might cause discomfort or injury when they exercise.

Adolescents must eat a balanced diet to fuel their growing bodies and maintain optimum health. A diet rich in nutrients from various foods can help reduce the risk of health conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and depression. Fueling their bodies with nutrient-rich foods also allows teens to feel energized, perform better academically, and participate in sports or hobbies.

However, many teens need to meet their nutritional needs. They may consume too few calories and need to get enough micronutrients such as iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and folate. Teens can be tempted by quick, convenient foods that are often high in fat and sugar and low in nutrition.

In addition to providing essential energy for daily activities, exercise promotes healthy bones and muscles and improves mental health. However, a lack of physical activity can contribute to weight gain, poor health, and many problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Global trends indicate that adolescents are not getting enough physical activity. A recent study of school-going adolescents found that 85% of boys and girls must meet current recommendations for at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.1

Teens need to find activities they enjoy so they can stick with them, which will help prevent them from becoming overweight and inactive. Encourage your teen to walk after dinner, play tennis with friends, bike around the neighborhood, or participate in other recreational activities. And be a role model by being physically active to show your teen how to have fun while staying fit.

Aerobic exercise increases the heart rate, strengthens the muscles, and boosts oxygen delivery. It can also help your teen respond quickly to unexpected physical demands, such as running for a bus or climbing stairs. Exercises that provide a good aerobic workout include hockey, soccer, basketball, rowing, swimming, dancing, in-line skating, and hiking.

Protein is vital for building and repairing muscle. Active teens should eat a protein-rich diet and consume about two to three grams per kilogram of body weight.

A good night’s sleep helps teens stay alert, learn better, and handle daily stressors. However, many teens don’t get enough rest. Some experts believe this results from the nation’s early high-school start times, which cut into their sleep time. Teenagers also have trouble putting aside distractions like television, video games, and the Internet when it’s time to wind down for sleep.

A lack of sleep leads to weight gain, poor performance in school and sports, and emotional problems. Researchers say it also robs adolescents of energy, making them less likely to exercise.

To avoid the negative effects of insufficient sleep:

  1. Encourage your teen to stick to a regular bedtime.
  2. Aim for a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night.
  3. Set a time for lights out and try to avoid using electronic devices in the hour before sleeping.

The blue light emitted from these devices suppresses the release of melatonin, which helps regulate sleepiness.

In addition to getting enough sleep, teens should eat enough calories. Because they need more energy than other age groups, teenage boys and girls should consume between 2,500 and 3,000 calories daily. Calories should come from whole foods, not sugary sodas or energy drinks.

It’s also important for teenagers to get plenty of protein and calcium, which support healthy bones and muscles. They should also aim for at least one hour of physical activity each week. Aerobic exercise should comprise most of this time, and muscle- and bone-strengthening activities should be included three or more days each week. In addition to going for a jog or playing basketball, having your teen ride a bike, walk around the neighborhood, or participate in yard work can help them meet this goal.

If your teen struggles to get enough sleep, discuss the problem with her doctor. They may suggest a sleep aid or an alternative way to manage stress, such as meditation or yoga. Also, consider asking her doctor about a healthier diet to reduce caffeinated beverages and junk food intake.

A healthy lifestyle starts in childhood, and the habits developed in that time tend to stick with kids as they grow into adulthood. This is especially true for exercise. Teenagers need to stay active for several reasons, from strengthening their hearts and bones to reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease.

Unfortunately, many teenagers do not get the recommended amount of physical activity daily. This is due to a combination of factors, including increased screen time and decreased physical education classes in schools. Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple: Get teens moving.

Encourage your teens to take advantage of the outdoor activities on their doorstep and explore various ways to move their bodies. This might include hiking, running, or playing a sport with friends. Incorporating regular exercise into their daily routine will help them maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, and manage stress.

Teens who aren’t physically active are more likely to suffer unfavorable health consequences later in life, such as higher blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. These negative side effects are easier to prevent with regular physical activity, starting in early adolescence.

While many people focus on the physical benefits of exercise, there are several mental health benefits. One of the most important is stress relief. Exercise can help teens manage adolescence’s academic and social stresses by releasing stress-busting endorphins and increasing relaxation.

Lastly, exercise can boost self-esteem and body image by providing a sense of accomplishment and achievement. This can be particularly helpful for teens who struggle with body dysmorphia, which causes people to develop an unrealistic negative perception of their appearances.

Encourage your teenagers to make fitness a priority by setting an example. You can do this by getting out and exercising with them or joining a gym to work on your fitness levels together. Additionally, if your children are involved in team sports, support them by attending games and displaying trophies and medals at home. This will make them proud of their achievements and encourage them to exercise.

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