Physical exercise can improve both mental and physical health. Developing healthy habits, like exercise, as a teenager can lead to improved fitness in the short term and healthy habits for the entirety of your life. Everyone can experience the health benefits of exercise. Age, abilities, ethnicity, shape, and size do not affect its importance.
How Much Exercise Do Teenagers Need?
The CDC recommends that all teenagers need one hour or more of exercise daily. Physical activity includes sports, aerobic exercise like running and walking, and strength training. Only 10% of teenagers worldwide meet this recommendation (Source). It can be hard to get one hour of exercise per day. If it is difficult for you, the minimum amount is 30 minutes of exercise, three days per week.
What Are The Benefits of Exercise for Teenagers?
Teenagers who exercise are less likely to develop mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Regular exercise has also been shown to improve the symptoms of ADHD in teenagers.
According to the American Heart Association, exercise benefits include the following:
- Lower risk of future heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, and several types of cancer,
- Better sleep, including improvements in insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea,
- Improved cognition, including memory, attention, and thinking speed,
- Less weight gain, obesity, and related chronic health conditions,
- Better bone health and balance,
- Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety,
- Better quality of life.
For maximum benefits, include moderate and intense activity in your routine, with strength and mobility exercises.
How Much is Too Much Exercise?
Exercise is anything that moves your body and burns significant calories, including walking, climbing stairs, and stretching.
There is such a thing as too much exercise. While teens need plenty of exercise, getting too much can cause many problems. While some work out more than others, too much can lead to injuries, reduced immunity, sleep issues, and mental illness. Focusing excessively on your body and exercising too much can lead to disordered eating. Too much exercise can cause some of the same chronic issues that not enough exercise can!
Signs of Too much Exercise
If you are worried that you might be exercising too much, here is a list of common signs, according to Everyday Health:
- Extended Muscle Soreness
- Decreased Immune Response
- Increased Injuries
- Constant Fatigue, Irritability, and Low Energy
- Getting Tired Early in Your Workout
- Hitting Performance Plateaus or Declines
- Increase in Resting Heart Rate: Frequent exercise should lower a person's resting heart rate, but overexercising can have the opposite effect, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. An increase could be a sign of a problem or a cardiovascular change.
- Prioritizing Workouts Above All Else
- Depression or Anxiety
Exercise is Fun!
Framing exercise as an unpleasant activity will increase your burnout and decrease happiness. There are many ways to exercise, from jumping rope to walking to weight lifting. Choose the exercise type that is right for you, and you are sure to look forward to your workouts!
What Are The Best Types of Exercises for Teenagers?
A good exercise routine can include cardio, strength training, and mobility work. Teens with sports as part of their life should know that stretching is an important activity to improve reaction time, balance, and strength.
Is Lifting Weights Safe for Teens?
Many teens wonder if it is safe for them to lift weights. Research says yes, as long as they are not too heavy. You can increase your strength while reducing injury risk by using lighter weights and doing more reps.
Exercises to Try
If you want to get started with exercise, you are probably wondering about basic movements. Here are some moderate-intensity activities you can do quickly and easily in your spare time.
Lunges strengthen your lower body while increasing your heart rate and challenging your balance.
Push-ups strengthen your upper body and core.
Squats strengthen your lower body and core and can be easily modified to be more challenging by holding weights.
This final exercise will strengthen your lower body and core.
It is easier than it has ever been before to not exercise, especially for teens. Exercise is still just as important. Physical activity has numerous proven health benefits, including improving your quality of life and mental and physical health.