Keeping Teens Active: A Necessary Guide for Parents

Four teenagers jumping on a trampoline in a garden

As the teenage years come around, it can be difficult for parents to keep their children active. But with the amount of evidence proving exercise’s physical and psychological benefits, it’s essential to keep your teenager active. Many teens don’t like participating in traditional sports; however, they can do plenty of other activities to ensure they stay physically fit. Read on for a breakdown of why and how you should keep your teen engaged in physical activity.

Why Should You Keep Your Teenager Active?

Physical activity is beneficial for teens because of its direct weight-related effects and its mental health and educational benefits. Regular physical activity has been linked to improved sleep quality and reduced stress levels while increasing confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, studies have shown that athletes tend to have higher grades than those who do not participate in sports or regular exercise. Exercise allows your teen’s brain to work more efficiently by increasing blood flow to the brain, which increases energy levels throughout the day.

And because many teenagers struggle with self-esteem, physical activity can be a great way to build their confidence. They can explore different activities and discover something they love—a great way to explore their identity.

How Can You Keep Your Teenager Active?

1. Finding enjoyable activities

The key is finding activities your teen enjoys doing so they will remain interested in physical activities over time. This may mean trying a few different activities until you find one your teen enjoys. For example, many teens enjoy sports such as soccer, basketball, and swimming. These are all great activities that will help them stay active and healthy.

If their interests lie outside traditional team sports or organized activities, consider other forms of exercise. For example, artistic teens may want to explore the art of dance. You can enroll them in a ballroom dancing lesson where they can meet new people and get their daily exercise or in a hip-hop dance class if that is more their style.

A young man running on a field to play lacrosse

2. Setting goals

Setting goals and working toward them can help your teen stay motivated and active. Setting a goal and having something to work toward is key in helping your teen stay motivated to remain physically active. For example, you can set a goal of walking or running a 5k race together and plan your training sessions together. You can also look into different fitness programs or even online programs that can help keep your teen motivated.

Some teens may also find it motivating to join a sports team. Entering a team will allow your teen to meet new people who share the same interests and to compete in a healthy way. If joining a team isn’t an option, try to find a group of friends who enjoy the same activities and plan group workouts together.

3. Making it a family affair

While it is essential to encourage your teen to stay active and reach their goals, it is also crucial for you as the parent to be involved. Making physical activity a family affair is key to helping your teen stay active. You can plan weekend hikes or play sports in the backyard. You must lead by example and show your teen that physical activity is an essential part of life.

There are many family-friendly activities that you and your teen can participate in. Consider ice skating, rollerblading, biking, or even playing Frisbee. These activities provide a great way to get active together and have fun simultaneously. You can also plan movie or game nights at the end of a long day to help keep your teen engaged in physical activities.

4. Finding a mentor

If your teen is struggling with motivation, consider finding a mentor or coach that can help them stay on track and reach their goals. Mentors can provide guidance and support, making physical activity more enjoyable for your teen. They can provide feedback and advice to help keep your teen motivated. Many schools and community centers offer sports programs or mentorships for teens who are looking to stay active.

But you can also take the initiative to find a mentor. You can look for someone who is passionate about physical activity and has experience in the sport your teen is interested in. It’s important to find someone who is positive and encouraging while still providing constructive criticism.

In conclusion, keeping your teenager active is essential for both their short-term health benefits and long-term success. As a parent, it is important to find activities your teen can enjoy, set goals for them to reach, involve the entire family in physical activity, and consider finding a mentor to help your teen stay motivated. These tips can help you ensure that your child is getting the exercise they need to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle.

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