Like adult fitness, teen fitness is important for physical and mental health. But as kids grow up the level of physical activity tends to decline. For teenagers to be healthy they need to perform at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. However, keeping fit and healthy is not always a priority for teenagers coping with the pressures of adolescence.
The teenage years are a great time to introduce the importance of regular exercise. Patterns of behaviour that begin during adolescence are likely to continue through to adult life. Young people should be encouraged to enjoy physical activities that offer variety and enjoyment and are suitable for their age.
It is found that inactive teenagers have higher levels of body fat, lower levels of fitness and are more likely to suffer depression. Schools are assigning less time for teens to participate in sport so exercise alternatives need to be found outside of education.
Going to the gym will help teenagers to maintain fitness. Several gym membership packages include entrance to swimming pools and exercise classes offering a wide variety of physical activity. Yet some 13-19 year olds will find it difficult to commit to a structured gym environment and membership may be expensive.
Team sports are great for kids this age to achieve the recommended levels of physical exercise.
Most schools offer regular recreational and competitive team activities. By introducing competition into exercise, teens will be motivated to work harder and be the best in the team.
Teens should be encouraged to play a variety of sports that can be played all year round. Team games are fun and teenagers enjoy exercising with friends. Group sports can be continued out of education so look out for local recreational teams and leagues.
Not everyone is interested in competitive sport so introduce teens to different activities such as karate, dance or skateboarding as kids at this age like to try new things. Even if a hobby isn’t physically demanding it will help to maintain fitness.
Physical activity must be matched with healthy eating and for adolescents a balanced diet is imperative. Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and the major dietary requirement is for energy rich food. The body needs to get the right amount of nutrients through a balance of starch, dairy, fruit, vegetables and proteins.
During puberty teenagers body concerns are intensified and studies have reported that teenagers are more likely to become unhappy with their weight. Maintaining levels of nutrition are important and if kids need to lose weight then cutting down on fat and sugar based foods is a way to do so.
Regular physical activity increases the likelihood of teenagers remaining healthy in adulthood. They should find ways to be active everyday as the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes can begin to develop early in life. Teens can keep active by going to the gym or playing team sports. Simply walking to school will promote fitness.