For some teenagers, fitness is measured by how quickly they can respond to a text message. The younger generation spends more time on the couch than on the track. Keep reading for five great ways you can encourage your teen to get moving.
Exercise is important for your teen’s physical health and mental well-being. According to WebMD, the benefits of exercise for teens include increased immunity to colds and viruses, decreases in depression symptoms, reduced stress levels, stronger bones, clearer skin and increased blood flow to the brain. What’s not to love?
Take it outside
There is nothing like exercising in the great outdoors. Eva M. Selhub, M.D. says, “Studies are now showing that exercise compliance is more likely when it takes place outdoors. It has been found that “green” improves an individual’s mental state without them realising it. You may notice yourself that when you do exercise outdoors, you are less likely to notice cramping, fatigue or negative thoughts.” Ask your teen to take the dog for a walk or pack up the family for a hike outdoors. Being outside and enjoying nature makes exercise more fun and less like work.
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Be a sport
Not everyone is a natural-born athlete, but there is a sport out there that suits everyone. Playing a sport – whether on a team or individually – is a great way for your teen to get exercise. Have him try a variety of different things like tennis, running, swimming or yoga. Challenging his body to try new activities is good for muscle development and coordination, and he may just find a sport he loves.
Make it a challenge
For some teens, exercise becomes more interesting when there’s a challenge involved. Show her how to use a pedometer for tracking how many steps she takes each day — then challenge her to increase the number daily. If she’s a runner, have her work to improve her time. Making exercise into a game makes it more fun for teens.
Pick a cause
There are many charitable organisations that sponsor walks, runs or other events like triathlons in order to raise money. Help your teen decide on a charitable cause that they feel strongly about and sign up to participate in the event. The added purpose of raising money for a good cause helps make exercise more enjoyable.
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Involve the family
Face it – sometimes at the end of a long day you don’t want to exercise either. Teens learn from watching their parents, so set the example by exercising yourself. Find activities the whole family can enjoy together, like biking or hiking.
Help your teen make exercise a routine instead of a chore.
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