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.