You know I am a huge proponent of exercise as one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Most often I am in my warm-ups walking. Having a four-legged child who demands daily walks is a big aid in getting me out the door. As I look at women and fitness, I’ve noticed that young girls and teens are not as committed to getting their exercise in. It is important for us to be role models and mentors helping our girls develop positive attitudes toward fitness.
Exercise is as beneficial for teens, as it is for women. One of the most important reasons for teens and young adults to exercise is to make exercise a regular and positive habit. Teens should be physically active about 60 minutes a day, five days a week.
Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. It helps control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat. Exercise can also help prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure and it can aid in reducing blood pressure in some adolescents with hypertension.
Research shows that teens who include regular physical activity in their daily routine are more likely to have higher self-esteem, get better grades, and have fewer absences from school. Additionally physical activity will help teens look and feel better reflecting positive effects on the skin, hair, posture and muscle tone. With so many positives, what is not to like?
Don’t buy into the “no pain, no gain” motto. It should be fun to get the body moving. Here are just a few active choices to help you and your daughters, relatives and young friends get started.
Dance, is one way to get the moves in. Teens can practice and hone their dance skills. They can also partner with Moms or other relatives to teach them new trend-forward steps. Let’s face it we all want to be smooth and look like a phenom on the dance floor.
Commercial crunches are a good way to put a positive spin on TV time. During each commercial break your teens can do a set number of crunches. Pick a goal in advance—at the end of the show, give your teen a reward if the goal has been accomplished. Start with a realistic number of crunches or other exercise and build up over the course of the television season. At the end of the season your teen will feel good and look good.
Join a sports team or activity group at school or the community center. This can help your teen learn or develop skill in a sport and provide a support group.
Exercise is just one element of a healthy lifestyle. By making it an ongoing practice you’re training your teen to run the race for a healthful life.
Take Away: Exercise is important for teens and youth. By showing your enthusiasm for physical fitness you can help them develop positive attitudes and an interest in being active and physically fit.
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