Move your Body

Girl stretching

Be Happy

We live in an environment that makes it less likely that teenagers walk or ride their bikes. It is probably the lack of activity that makes it easy for teenagers to gain excess weight. This is why being involved in daily play, sport or exercise can be so important for teenagers to stay a healthy weight.

Body weight is a balance of kilojoules in and kilojoules out. Exercise is the kilojoules out; food and drink are the kilojoules in. Despite all that you have heard, the best way to control body weight is to be active each day and to eat a good wholesome diet.

Ways to Get Moving

No teen is doomed to be overweight, but an hour of exercise a day can seem like a lot for anyone. If your overweight teenager is not physically active or is self-conscious about her body, it may feel overwhelming.

The key is to start off small and provide plenty of role modeling and support along the way.

  • Build Slowly – Start with small steps, such as a 10-minute walk every day after school.  Add a minute more of walking each time. Little successes  build self-confidence.
  • Make Screen Time Count – All the time your teen spends in front of a TV or computer is time not being active. Routinely do some crunches or other exercises while watching TV. Or keep small dumbbells and elastic bands in a box next to the TV to use during commercials or shows.
  • Make Workouts Enjoyable – The best exercise program is the one you will actually do. Any movement away from sitting counts.  Going for walks with friends is a great way to gain motivation.
  • Consider Weight Training – Strength training, or resistance training, may be a good activity.  It’s not necessary to join a gym to do strength training.

In the end, remember that developing an active and healthy lifestyle is not a race. 

Exercise

Healthy women jumping and keeping fit

Healthy women staying fit.

Exercise is an important factor for keeping healthy and fit.

Benefits to exercise:

  • By keeping physically active, you help keep your joints and body organs in good working condition
  • Increases your energy levels and brain activity
  • Increases self confidence if you know you look and feel better
  • Meet new people if you join a fitness class or local sport club

It’s recommended that teens get at least 1 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 organized sports and participation in daily physical education classes is a thing of the past.But given the opportunity and interest, teens can reap health benefits from almost any activity they enjoy, from skateboarding, in-line skating, yoga, swimming, dancing.Teens can work physical activity into everyday routines, such as walking to school, doing chores, or finding an active part-time job.

Teens face many new social and academic pressures in addition to dealing with emotional and physical changes. Studies show that teens on average spend more than 6 hours a day on various media, including watching TV, listening to music, surfing online, and playing video games. It’s not surprising that teens can’t seem to find the time to exercise and many parents can’t motivate them to be active.

To keep teens motivated the activities have to be fun. Help your teen stay active by finding an exercise regimen that fits with his or her schedule. Your teen may not have time to play a team sport at school or in a local league, but many gyms offer teen memberships, and kids may be able to fit in a visit before or after school.Your teen might also feel more comfortable doing home exercise videos. Exercise video games are a good alternative to sedentary activities, but should not replace active play and participation in sports. All teens should limit the time spent in sedentary activities, including watching TV, using the computer, and playing video games.