Teen Girls and Exercise

The Benefits of Physical Activity

These are not new facts. Physical activity improves your level of health. When you are healthy, you are less prone to disease and illness. For teens, that can mean a decreased incidence of acne, pimples, colds and other conditions.

Physical activity also reshapes your body. Where you were once lanky, you can have shapelier muscles. If you are carrying extra pounds, you can slim down to a healthier weight. But, all of this is easier said than done.

How to Encourage Activity

With technology growing by leaps and bounds, you can accomplish several tasks by sitting and tapping the screen on your cell phone or typing on your computer instead of running around town. Tech is good but it has left the younger generation lacking in physical stimulation. A greater number of teenagers are overweight and undernourished.

Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

* Choose an activity that they like – Traditional exercise is not exactly what many teen girls are looking for. Many of them like to dance, so try to interest them in a dance class. The hottest craze right now is Zumba fitness. It is Latin, hip-hop, salsa and club dancing all mixed together for a fun, calorie-burning workout.

* Work out with them – There is strength in numbers. When they see that you are participating and are not just all talk, they will be more likely to give it a try. Still allow them to choose the activity. Encourage them to also bring a few friends along. They will also see that you don’t have to be an athlete to participate and do well.

* Choose same sex activities – It can be hard to concentrate on what you are doing if there are boys in the room. This can make a teen girl subconscious about how she looks. A dance class that is mostly women or a running club for women reduces that self-consciousness and can even boost your teen's self-esteem. If other women can do it, so can she.

* Keep track of progress – This requires setting goals. What does she want to accomplish? It could be increased self-esteem, weight loss, or toning up for a start. Before you begin, have her weigh and take measurements. Each month, recheck results. There is nothing that motivates like seeing results.

* Congratulate her efforts – Even if she is not the most stellar person in the class or on the sports team, don’t hold back on praise for what she has accomplished.