The age of ipods, video games, computers and the internet is depriving many young people of healthy activity and exercise.
Obesity among teens is on the increase in western countries, and the key to controlling this alarming statistics is encouraging teen workouts and showing teenagers that exercise can be fun.
Teen workouts don’t have to full-on formal gym workouts.
If you are worried about your teenager’s sedentary lifestyle, sending them off to formal workouts might be too much, too soon. Encourage them to reduce their sedentary time a little, and suggest easy forms of exercise to get them active again.
Are you worried about your teenage son or daughter’s inactivity?
Now is the time to do something about it. Go for a walk together and talk about how concerned you are.
Talk about the obesity figures among teenagers and that an overweight teenager stands an 80% chance of being overweight as an adult.
Regular activity as part of a healthy lifestyle can prevent heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Exercise gives you more energy; makes you feel great and gives you increased self-confidence. Tell them that teen workouts don’t have to involve getting all hot and sweaty unless they want to.
Life is tough for young people today, with peer, academic and social pressures. Many teens suffer from stress and anxiety; regular exercise helps to relieve these.
Help them understand that even mild teen workouts will actually help them feel more relaxed and in control, and will help them think more clearly too which will help with their school work.
Teenagers are not always eager to do what they are told, so showing them by example that exercise is fun and makes you feel great, is the best option. Follow the old adage and ‘practise what you preach’ by adopting an active lifestyle yourself.
Arrange family entertainment around activity; go bowling, attend a fun class together at the local gym – maybe a spin class or self defence, walk the dog together or cycle round the local park. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just think up ways that teen workouts can be enjoyed together or as a family.
Research different options for teen workouts; ask your teen whether they prefer team or individual activities, formal gym based or informal exercise.
Encourage them to try different things to find something they want to do and then support them in their choice. Teenagers are more likely to stick with the teen workouts they enjoy, than something they are “told” to do.
Activities with formal instruction are good for teens, as they benefit from the input of another responsible adult. Classes in yoga, Pilates, martial arts, modern dance and similar activities are great exercise and teach more than just physical activity; they also develop self esteem.
Whatever teen workout activity your teenager decides to pursue, let it be their choice; they are the one who has to commit to it. Keep encouraging but avoid nagging as this will get you nowhere, as anyone who has dealt with teenagers is sure to know.