Teen Fitness: Why It Is Important

It’s recommended that teens get at least an hour of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. Yet physical activity tends to decline during the teen years. Many teens drop out of organised sports and participation in daily physical education classes is a thing of the past. The time spent in sedentary activities, including watching TV, using the computer, and playing video games, seems to be at an all time high, this along with snacking on high-fat snacks and guzzling down colas and high-sugar drinks. The result is an epidemic of teenage obesity. The result can sometimes be poor self-image and depression as also an overall sense of lethargy, which can reflect into your teen’s academic career. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Overweight teenagers may grow up to be obese adults. Young adults with a heavy body are more prone to diabetes, heart ailments, and arthritis, etc. Staying fit can help improve self-image and also decrease the risk of serious physical illnesses later in life.

There are dozens of different physical activities that teenagers can participate in at school, at home and with friends. There is no need for any drastic changes to fit in the right amount of physical activity. Many everyday tasks can count as physical activity for teenagers. You, on your part, as a parent, can help your teen make changes to his diet and exercise habits that will put him on a healthier track. Here are a few pointers on how to go about helping your teen tackle their weight issues:

Talk to an expert & your teen. Ask your health care provider to calculate your teen’s body mass index (BMI), which is used to measure body fat percentage, based on weight and height. If your teen’s BMI makes in fall in the overweight or obese category, ask the expert what your son/daughter’s weight goals should be. Discuss the situation with your teenager and find out how he/she can reach a better place in terms of health and fitness. Stress a positive body image and encourage him/her to wish for it. Approach a fitness expert and work in tandem with him/her.

A combination workout routine: Everyday activities, sports and formal exercise can be combined to create a healthy fitness plan that keeps your teen moving. For the best workout routine for teens a good combination is, bodyweight movements (styles such as yoga, functional training, Pilates etc.), and locomotion whether it is running, hiking, biking, sprinting and walking.

For flexibility & strong bones: Flexibility helps them to retain range of motion, so Yogasanas would be great even for the most sedentary teen. Simple activities like jumping rope can help retain bone strength. Both types of activities are important for a teen’s overall health.

Motivation: Encourage your teen to exercise more and have a regular fitness plan, but lay the emphasis on fun and health. See to it that your teen has the right attitude towards fitness and does not go overboard or use shortcuts. Help them commit to fitness by being a positive role model and exercising regularly, too. For fitness activities you can enjoy together, try bike rides, hitting a tennis ball around, going to a local swimming pool, or even playing games like football. Not only are you working together to reach your fitness goals, it’s a great opportunity to stay connected with your teen. On their part, your teen will lose excess weight, get stronger, and gain self-confidence. They will also be able to experience a completely different life and a different perspective.

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