It is important that for teens to stay healthy they should get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. However, studies show that less than 10% of high school students got their daily hour of exercise. A regular fitness program can help pre-teens and teens reduce anxiety and stress, boost academic performance, improve confidence and self-esteem, and most important establish lifelong healthy habits.
Active kids also have stronger muscles and bones, less risk of becoming overweight, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. While research provides significant evidence that all physical activity positively contributes to overall health and well-being, teens need to focus more on regular exercise than sports if they want to stay fit. Otherwise, they are at risk of becoming a sport spectator and may end up living an inactive lifestyle as adults.
Why Sports is Contributing to Obesity
I am a big believer that any kind of physical activity is good for kids and teens especially since the latest study in Preventive Medicine shows that most teens today are as sedentary as 60 year olds. The fact is that our human body was designed to move! And for thousands of years, that is exactly what we did. However, rapid technological advances in the last 50 years (computers, TVs, the internet, phones, cars, etc.) has made us increasingly sedentary.
The “sitting disease,” is a term used by our scientific community to describe individuals that engage in prolonged periods of sitting or overall inactivity. Even though sitting down all day may seem harmless, it has a negative impact on our health and it is literally making us sick and obese. This is why sitting is now considered the new smoking and too much sitting increases your risk of chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
The problem with kids and teens only playing sports and not focusing on regular exercise is that they will eventually stop playing sports. A recent study out of Harvard points out that “the majority of those who had played sports when they were younger no longer did, with a significant drop-off coming after age 26.” Instead of continuing to play sports as adults, most kids and teens will become sports spectators which leads to a sedentary lifestyle.
Why Kids Need Healthy Workout Habits
Even though it is important kids have fun exercising and playing sports, we also need to teach them early in life that working out is a habit smart people use to practice self-discipline and perseverance, the same two skills required to create happiness and prosperity. People who approach exercise this way do it longer and outlive those who see working out as a chore or something that is done temporarily. This is a lesson I learned when I was 13 years old.
I remember I used to love playing all kinds of sports growing up… soccer, football, baseball, tennis, and racquetball. I did not play with the school team but just for fun with kids that lived around my neighborhood. Then when I was 13 years old my dad bought me a set of dumbbells and a push up bar. My brother who was two years younger than me also received the same gift and we soon started to compete every day on who could do the most bicep curls.
After a month of competing with my brother, I noticed something that I had never seen before – a bicep. Actually two biceps and soon I realized I was hooked on working out. Those workout habits that I developed as a teen are still a part of my weekly routine and have helped me to stay fit as an adult. Like most kids and teens, I stopped playing sports a long time ago. However, I always make time for a good workout at the gym or to go for a run at the greenway.
How Regular Exercise Transforms Lives
The benefits of working out are too great to ignore since regular exercise prevents weight gain, increases energy and stamina, enhances sleep, and reduces the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even depression. Working out also has many mental benefits since it gives kids the confidence and grit (mental toughness) they need to pursue their dreams and to reach their full potential. This is why all teens need to develop healthy exercise habits early on in life.
At Kalina’s Fitness we specialize on training kids and teens to build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By teaching your child healthy eating and exercise habits early on in life it will have a profound effect on the choices they make going forward. Our Lean Teen Program gives teens (ages 8-18) all the tools they need to build healthy habits and transform their lives. If your child needs help, please register for your Free Day Pass. We look forward to serving you and your family with excellence. Thank you!