Exercise and fitness are essential for keeping you healthy and in shape, but many teens don’t get as much physical activity as they should. With so many distractions, teens often don’t make time to exercise. Plus, modern teens often spend a lot of their time doing sedentary activities, such as watching TV or surfing the Internet, instead of being active throughout their day. Making fitness a priority can help improve your health, not only during your teen years but for the rest of your life.
Importance of Exercise
Teen fitness is important for many reasons. Maintaining a healthy weight is the primary reason most teens start to exercise. According to the Weight-Control Information Network, about 17 percent of teens are overweight or obese. Teens who are overweight are at a higher risk for diabetes and heart disease, and these risks continue into adulthood. Practicing good fitness habits can help you maintain a strong immune system and a good physique. Exercise can also improve your mental wellness and boost your mood. Teens who get regular physical exercise also sleep better at night and have more energy during the day.
Being physically active isn’t the only thing that affects your weight and how you feel. Eating right is also important. Teens don’t need to be strict about their diets, but should instead make an effort to eat healthy foods the majority of the time. By establishing good eating habits (http://www.teenzeen.org/food-eating.html) while in your teen years, you can set up a pattern of healthy eating that lasts for your entire life.
While it is important to stay physically fit as a teen, you should also be careful not to exercise too much. Some teens get so involved with training for a sport that they overdo things. Overtraining can lead to injuries or muscle fatigue, which makes it harder to exercise later. Some teens become obsessed with or addicted to exercise. When this happens, the teen may become preoccupied with spending hours at the gym everyday or might develop body image issues. If you think you might be struggling with an addiction to exercise or an eating disorder, talk to a medical professional today. Your parent or a trusted adult can help you find someone in the field to help.
Some teens take up sports as a way to stay in shape. Others prefer to go to the gym and use the exercise equipment there. If you want to get a good cardiovascular workout, you can join a formal class or design your own exercise routine at home. Don’t let TV or Internet distractions keep you from exercising, but instead schedule a specific time each day to get some physical exercise.
Daily Physical Activity
Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t require a gym membership or participation in an organized sport. Physical activity can include anything that gets your heart rate up and tones your muscles. Some activities that are fun and also count as physical activity include:
- Dancing in your room alone where no one else can see
- Inline skating at a local park
- Ice skating with a group of friends at an indoor rink
- Playing a quick, informal game of basketball, volleyball, football or dodgeball with friends
- Walking the dog
Sports and Exercise Safety
Exercising for teens is typically a healthy activity, but you do need to take some precautions to ensure your safety. If you notice pain when you are exercising, stop what you are doing immediately and talk to a personal trainer or doctor before trying that activity again. If you are injured during sports or exercise, give yourself time to recover completely before trying to jump back into working out.