According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the adolescents aged 12 to 15 in the United States are physically unfit. Based on their studies back in 2012, only 42% of the adolescents had sufficient cardiorespiratory fitness. Scientists have also determined that the overall fitness of teenagers drop with the increase in weight. These numbers should be a concern for parents since physically unfit adolescents can be at risk from acquiring various health issues as they grow older.
How to Get Your Child Moving
There are many factors that can contribute to the growing weight of your teen. There is genetics which can make them predisposed to gaining weight. Another is their lifestyle where they tend to sit in front of the TV throughout the day while munching on junk foods and other unhealthy snacks. Peer pressure is also a contributing factor to their weight gain especially when they don’t want to disappoint their friends. The good news is that, although there are plenty of reasons for teenagers to gain weight, there are ways to manage it and parents can play a part to help their teen get moving.
Choose the Right Activity
Encourage your teen to play a sport, go hiking, swimming, biking, or do any other fun activity. If you want them to become more interested in the idea of working out, why not join them in playing a sport? This can be a good way to bond with your teenager while at the same time keeping everyone in the best of health.
Build Your Teen Up Slowly
Children who aren’t doing much physical activity may have a difficult time getting used to the idea of exercise and may only tolerate just a few minutes of working out. The best solution for parents is to slowly build up their child’s endurance. You can start by going for a 10-minute walk around the block after school then gradually increase the minutes every day. Make your child track his progress then give him a reward after reaching a certain goal. This will help encourage them to complete the workout while at the same time increase their self-confidence as they see their progress.
Be a Role Model
Children won’t be interested in doing any physical activity such as playing sports, running, or even swimming for that matter when they see their parents doing nothing except to sit in front of the TV. If you want to pique the interest of your teenager, you should become more physically active so they will be encouraged to do the same.
Limit TV and Computer Usage
Kids these days spend most of their time either playing computer games or watching. It would be better if you make house rules where you limit TV and computer usage for two hours only as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This will leave them more time to do other activities such as play ball, go swimming, or biking around the neighborhood.
Include Exercise in Their Schedule
It’s not unusual to find kids having a full schedule especially during school days. If you want to help them stay active make sure that incorporate exercise in their daily schedule even if it means spending 30 minutes or so for physical activities.
Avoid Overworking Them
After your child finds his or her enthusiasm to doing various physical activities, teach them to listen to their body. Once they feel pain or already feel tired, they should stop and rest to help their body recuperate from the strenuous activity.
Workouts should be Enjoyable. Many parents assume that workouts shouldn’t be fun. If you are looking for a way to encourage your teenager to do some physical activities, find out what they like to do best. Do they love nature? Go hiking. Do they like to swim? Look for water sports appropriate for their age.
There is no better time to encourage your child to become physically fit than today
Keep in mind that even they’ve gained weight, there is still room for improvement especially when they can do different kinds of activities that will help boost their metabolism. With you encouragement and participation, you’ll be able to help your child improve his or her overall health at their age.