Some teens are happy to be sedentary all day long while others are naturally active and don’t need any prompting to get moving during the day. However, even if a teen exercises for an hour a day, if they sit for the rest of the day, then they are still a couch potato. When I work with teens, I help them discover a form of sustained exercise that they enjoy as well as teach them how to work movement into their schedule all day long.
When a teen learns to enjoy moving their body, then it becomes another tool to help them stress less and create more energy which will help them be more successful in all areas of their life. But if a teen looks at exercise as a chore or as a way to lose weight, then not only will they resist doing it, it actually throws them into the Chronic Stress Loop and becomes another source of stress that drains their energy. The key to making movement a healthy habit that reduces stress and increases energy is helping your teen find the right style of movement that fits their schedule and energy level.
Strategies to Get Your Teen Moving ALL Day Long
The easiest way to get your teen moving that doesn’t require a big time commitment is having your teen double their steps with the ideal being 10,000 steps each day. If your teen is like most, they carry their phone with them wherever they go. In the Health App on all I phones, there is a step counter. Even if your teen has never looked at it, their phone has been counting their steps. They can go about their day as normal and see how many steps they get naturally and then make an effort to double that number. There are numerous devices that your teen can wear on their wrist that count steps too, but your teen can start counting steps on their phone today!
When teens are in school, they are typically switching classes, so it is easier to move regularly. However, once they are home from school or during the weekends, it can be helpful for your teen to set a notification that reminds them to move every sixty minutes. This way they can be sure that they are getting a couple hundred steps each hour.
Another great option for your teen to do every sixty minutes it to complete a one minute burst. Your teen chooses an exercise and does it as quickly as they can for 40 to 60 seconds. The goal is to go as fast as they can so that they make it to 40 seconds and are breathing heavily at or before the one minute mark.
- Jumping Jacks
- High Knees
- Fast Feet
By adding movement throughout their day, your teen will become more toned, but regular movement is also a great way to reduce stress, improve focus and increase memory and performance in school.
Working movement into their day is very valuable, but it is only one piece. Let’s talk about how to help your teen find a sustained exercise they enjoy.
How to Help Your Teen Discover Exercise They Love
There are so many different exercise options for your teen to try. Perhaps they already have a few favorites that change depending on the season, or maybe they haven’t quite found their perfect exercise.
These are some thoughts to consider when helping your teen pick what they would like to try. (Just be clear that you expect them to pick something.)
- Do they prefer to be part of a group?
- Are they a self motivator?
- Is it helpful to be working towards a goal like a 5K?
- Do they prefer to be outside or inside?
- Do they need variety?
- Do they prefer fast or slow paced movement?
Depending on where you live, your teen’s options will be different. I encourage you to see what is offered in your area or at your teen’s school and see what might be appealing. Our bodies are meant to move, so if your teen finds something they love, it will be an easy habit to sustain for good.
If you are looking for an inexpensive option ($15 a month) that your teen can do on their own, I encourage you look into Daily Burn. Daily Burn has a new workout every single day that your teen can stream, so they will never get bored. In addition, they are always adding different types of programs. (They offer a 30 day free trial, so here is my friend link if your teen would like to give it a try.)
The habit of exercise is important for your teen’s health because it reduces the risk of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. It also boosts the immune system, increases energy and helps your teen sleep better. Lastly, it increases self esteem and reduces stress.
However, while regular exercise is a healthy habit I have all my teen clients work into their day, some teens need additional strategies to manage their stress better because they have unwanted manifestations occurring from being stuck in the Chronic Stress Loop. If you feel like your teen would benefit from adding additional methods to their stress less toolbox, you can grab a copy of my free Stress Less Guide here and learn my top five strategies to start helping your teen break out of the Chronic Stress Loop for good.
Originally published at www.claireketchum.com