From courts and fields to classes and equipment, the communities you serve rely on your facilities to stay fit, healthy and strong.
And while parents may visit with young children in tow, teens, who are beginning to make their own choices, often start exercising on their own. Their fitness goals can range from gaining speed and skill for sports to a general desire to feel more comfortable in their own skin. Unfortunately, though, many teens look up routines and advice online, which isn’t always ideal.
The following fitness tips for teens were tailor-made for teenagers today. Share them with your members via email or social media to help young adults work out safely and build confidence along the way.
Know the “Why”
As teens grow and their bodies change, they may develop unhealthy outlooks on health, fitness and exercise. To avoid negative habits, encourage teens to look at exercise as a way to feel more confident and gain strength and endurance, instead of a way to conform to certain standards or measurements. Unless you’ve consulted with a medical professional, don’t define fitness in terms of weight loss.
Set Smart Goals
Goal-setting is very important for teens; setting smart goals can help keep them exercising and enjoying a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. Start with smaller, attainable milestones, such as being able to do 10 push-ups in a row or jog one-quarter of a mile. Work up gradually to build confidence and establish a healthy, body-positive mindset around fitness.
Form & Balance
A smart rule for teens to practice while exercising is the 90-degree rule. Whatever the exercise–chest press, shoulder press, squat, leg press or lunge–do not overextend past 90 degrees. This will help keep them safe and injury-free.
It is also important to exercise the entire body. Too many individuals will place a greater focus on the lower body or upper body when working out. Make sure your teen alternates lower- and upper-body strength training exercises and adds bodyweight and plyometric exercises for balance.
Watch the Weights
Teens’ bodies are still growing, so most professionals recommend that they skip the heavy weights. From 13 to 15 years of age, they should stick to muscular endurance exercises and learn correct form before applying heavier loads. If your teen is close to adulthood, a professional can advise on weight training. For more information, check out these Strength Training Guidelines for Kids of All Ages.
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