Teenagers and Exercise


Throughout childhood and adolescence, there are so many reasons why exercise and activity can reduce and teenagers become more inactive – studying for exams and exercise isn’t always seen as ‘cool’.
In today’s social media society, there’s extra pressure for teenagers to look a certain way or to have a particular brand of sports clothing, and if they don’t then, there’s a chance they’ll stop or find something else to occupy their time.

Exercise has to be fun when started early, mainly so they don’t know they’re exercising – game of footie with their mates, quick run around the field after school playing tag, riding their bikes round the local park on a Sunday morning.
We all know that habits are hard to form, but they are also quite hard to re-form once they’re broken. Sure, life will get in the way and what they’re able to do now won’t always be sustainable, but reducing their activity is a big difference to stopping altogether, and then not being able to get going again.
The aim should be 60 minutes per day, and a mixture of vigorous exercise, moderate exercise and strengthening exercises – adding variety will help keep things interesting, and not make it feel like such a chore! Throughout childhood and adolescence is the perfect time to try new sports – I’ve spoken to plenty of people who wished they’d tried sports earlier in life. Who wants to be a beginner as an adult?!

There are plenty of benefits to be had too:
•  Weight control – we don’t want to get hung up on weight, I know, but exercise helps with weight control throughout life.
•  Better skin – blood flow to your face increases during exercise which can help give you a lovely glow, but also flush out some of the toxins which can cause bad skin.
•  Fewer colds – with exercise your immune system gets stronger, meaning you can fight off the lurgy more easily.
•  Improved mood – endorphin release during and after exercise has been proven to improve moods and the serotonin can help keep you calm.
•  Stronger bones – repetitive weight-bearing exercise increase your bone density (also important throughout adulthood), which can help prevent osteoporosis.
•  Less stress – regular exercise can reduce the amount of stress hormones within the body.
•  Stronger muscles – building muscles can help prevent injury, but also more muscle mass burns more calories, which can help with weight control.
•  More brain power – increased blood flow to the brain during exercise can help with transportation of nutrients and oxygen to the brain. This is really important whilst studying, so regular exercise is a must.

Kids can have so much pressure heaped upon them, so finding something that they enjoy doing is paramount. Giving children information about nutrition is equally important, but I think the effect of exercise can’t be underestimated.
I had a really sporty childhood, and those benefits are still with me today – I’m interested in what my body can do, I like to try new things, and the way that exercise improves my mood (and general wellbeing) is amazing – some of the friends I made during my childhood sport days are still friends now, so I think it gives people another circle of friends to rely on.

Keeping children and teenagers interested in sport is hard, so I‘d be happy to hear any tips you have.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s