Getting Teens to Exercise
We live in a digital bubble filled with virtual entertainment in the form of television, videogames, streaming services, social media and the other numerous platforms available on the internet. All these options lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and the group most impacted by this reality are teenagers.
Born and bred in a digital world it is easy for the younger generations to ease into an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle with severe implications for physical, psychological well being. Childhood obesity is on the rise and research shows that physical inactivity in teens and young adults poses a greater risk to life expectancy than cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse and drug abuse.
Parents should take the initiative to get teens active as this has many benefits including reducing anxiety, stress and depression while improving self-esteem and boosting cognitive ability. Getting it right with exercise for teens can also be the basis for lifelong healthy habits. So how can parents help teens be more active? Below are some initiatives which can make physical activity a part of their lives for healthy teens.
Sports For an Active Lifestyle For Teens
Sports are a great way for teens to learn about important qualities such as teamwork, endurance, discipline, motivation and organization. Sports are also a great way to build lifelong bonds and friendships plus the added advantage of bringing a sense of achievement.
Parents should encourage teens to enroll in sports programs in schools and if this is not a viable option should consider local sports teams, youth centers and gyms as a place to get into a sport.
Outdoor and Indoor Activities for Healthier Teens
Some outdoor and indoor activities should be introduced to teenagers that they can do on their own time. These include hiking, riding, yoga, muscle training, jogging and board sports and they are great options for getting teens to exercise.
These activities can help build self-discipline and even develop into hobbies that help keep teens fit for life. Participating in these activities with teens is a great way to helping them on their way to embracing them as part of an active lifestyle.
Everyday Chores For an Active Lifestyle For Teens
As kids grow into teens it is important to shift their chore duties to more physically demanding activities. These could include mowing the lawn, walking to the store, walking the dog or doing some intense yard work and they could lead to healthier teens.
Instead of driving to school make teens walk or ride a bike while encouraging calorie-burning activities such as dancing around the house. Using normal routines can be an easy way to ensure a more active lifestyle for teens.
Things to Remember When Getting Teens to Exercise
It is important to remember just how emotionally fragile and suggestible teenagers are and they can easily overdo exercise and dieting leading to harmful effects. While encouraging exercise the emphasis should be on fitness and health and not appearance or weight and it is good to remember the best way to get teens more active is to lead by example.
Bad habits grow over time and helping teens manage their day by limiting screen time on devices like television, smartphones and computers is recommended to encourage more activity.