Five Doctor Recommended Fitness Tips For Teens

Kids today have a lot of reasons not to be fit, from processed and fast-food to video games and social networking, there seem to be less and less healthy activities encouraged by society. That’s where you come in: fitness-minded parents tend to have fitness-minded children. Lead by example and set your kids up for success, with fitness habits that will last a life time!

1. Start them off slowly. This is safer for their bodies and less likely to lead to discouragement; if your kids are sore the following day, resistant can quickly follow. Begin by introducing them to a short walk after school, and set bigger and more lofty goals within the first week. Make a chart and record progress, to make it more fun and rewarding.

2. Chose your battles. TV can actually provide a great opportunity to exercise without missing a minute of programming! Put a treadmill or an exercise bike in front of the big-screen and insist that your kids workout for 15 minutes of every hour of watching. Chances are good that the monotony of the routine, combined with the mesmerizing effect of TV will lead them to longer times of exercising without them even realizing it!

3. Make it fun for everyone. Morphing into a Marine Drill Sergent is probably not the best idea for children, as they may learn to fear or loathe fitness. Get creative, think on their level and use their music to make working out as pleasant as possible. Once they adjust to the concept, success should come more easily. Or, you may find that your kids really take to the idea right away, in which case, you’ve got a huge advantage!

4. Try weight-training for greater efficiency. Your kids may consider weights more cool or interesting than plain exercise, so think about getting a bench and putting it in the basement or garage. They can be purchased at yard sales and thrift shops very cheaply if the cost of a new set wouldn’t fit your current budget, or you can buy the smaller ankle and wrist weights that strap on. Add crunches and resistance belts and you’re practically running a professional outfit your children can get really excited about!

5. Encourage participation in family, community and/or school sports. Even if your child hasn’t quite yet discovered a particular sport that they enjoy or excel at, always be their primary coach and cheerleader. Share costs and equipment with other parents and let your kids explore the possibilities. Make a point of showing your support by attending their games as often as you can. When your child knows they’ve got you behind them, there’s really no limit to what they’re capable of!

Changing the ways of even your youngest children may be quite challenging; so many other things seem to be much more fun than exercise! Your efforts will pay off big, however, once you get your kids into a fitness groove. Hopefully they will learn the value of the lessons you teach them about exercise and carry them throughout their lives.