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Best Reason to Exercise for Teens and Tweens

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While we can all agree that exercise for teens and tweens is important, exercise and physical activity seem to be decreasing more and more.

From getting lost in front of video games to cutting recess from the school day, exercise for teens just isn’t happening enough.

We’ve been focusing a lot around here on attitudes and self-care.  Both for kids and moms.

A key component in taking care of yourself and boosting your mood is exercise.  Or at least physical activity of some kind.

Exercise and physical activity are decreasing more and more among tweens and teens.

From getting lost in front of video games to cutting recess from the school day kids just aren’t playing outside enough.

Families are spending more time in front of screens and not enough time being active.

Being overweight and developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes are just some of the problems kids are having.

Make exercise for tweens and teens an important part of their mental health routine. Self-care is an important key to curbing those attitudes. #tween #teen #teenhealth

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Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercise for teens and tweens like…

The mental benefits of exercise are crucial…

Physical activity releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins.

Endorphins reduce stress and boost the immune system.

Stress-related issues like depression and anxiety in tweens and teens are on the rise.

Now even more since this post was written nearly 3 years ago.

Exercise for teens and tweens:

So what are the best exercises for mental health?

exercise for teens 1
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

How can I get my teenager to exercise?

If exercise for teens is something you’re worried isn’t happening enough in your house, it starts with the right conversations.

Tweens and teens don’t always want to do things we want them to do and they don’t always see the value we see in things.

To make those conversations happen…try this post.

Once you’ve moved past that obstacle, it’s important to pick the right exercise for teens.

Maybe it’s a solo activity like yoga or group activity, team sports perhaps.

You will both have ideas of what that may be. Be open to their ideas. Try a brainstorming session.

It may also involve trial and error before they end up finding a good fit.

The type of activity kids get involved in can make all the difference in how it affects their mood.

Team sports and individual sports can be night and day.

There’s a lot of focus on team sports in our country.  Football, baseball and so many more give kids the opportunity to work together and of course, have fun.

However, those aren’t the only ways to keep active and have fun.

I know I hated team sports. 

I wasn’t good at them and it made it very intimidating for me.

But when I found tennis, I was instantly in love.  No one depended on me.

I was more in control.  And I was good at it, well eventually, LOL.

For someone who was a skinny little kid who was horrible at sports having a sport to excel at was a huge boost to my self-esteem.

I began at 10 and played all through high school.

Also, consider those underweight kids and the amount or type of activities they’re doing.

Losing weight can happen too easily and quickly for someone who is already small.

Swimming, golf, running, dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, or martial arts are some other good choices.

It doesn’t even have to be competitive.

It could be just for exercise, though I do think competitive sports are good for kids.

Maybe they’re still part of a team like track or golf and the points from each individual add to the team totals, but the kid can focus on their developing their own skills a bit differently.

What to do when kids want to quit sports?

exercise for teens 2
Photo by Guilherme Maggieri on Unsplash

This might take some investigating.

They may not want to answer or be able to tell you why.

Sometimes it takes time to figure out.

Could they be continuing so they don’t disappoint you or their coach?

Maybe they think it’s too slow, like baseball?

Or too much structure, practices, or traveling.

But I know that we’ve had each one of our kids experience this for different reasons.

Sometimes we knew why and some we still don’t.

We just had them finish their commitment since it didn’t seem to be anything unsafe.

We just moved on and tried something else.

Though I will have to say, we did pull my daughter out of one activity without finding out why because it was so upsetting for her to go.

She insisted she just didn’t like it anymore, but would cry if we tried to encourage her to continue.

It took her two years after quitting and contact with the person long over to find out that she was being bullied. 

It just popped up in a random conversation two years later.

If that’s a possibility, you want to read this book for girls and this one if you have boys.

What if they don’t want to join anything?  

For kids who don’t like sports, any activity that gets them moving will benefit them.

A walk with a family member, a dog, or a friend is better than nothing.

And often better than anything else since it can offer a way to have 1-on-1 time and talk or just be.

Don’t forget bike riding, kayaking, and hiking.

How about hula hoop contests? Check out this weighted one.

Even yard work counts too!

Make it a family affair.

In our house, we still play Wii Sports and Just Dance when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

How much exercise for teens is the right amount?

exercise for teens
Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash

At least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day is ideal.

See what the medical experts say about exercise for teens.

Making it part of your daily routine helps.

Using a wearable fitness tracker is a fun way to get motivated and compete with yourself to improve every day.

Track physical fitness activities and more with our new FREE printable  Bullet Journal Worksheets

Free Printable Bullet Journal Worksheets >>> Download trackers for sleep, water, physical activity, water intake, food, and periods to help combat those cranky tween and teen moods

What exercises should a teenager do?

Ultimately, anything that gets them moving.

Try one from this list of 50+ exercise for teens ideas today.

  1. Badminton
  2. Pickleball
  3. Ballet
  4. Baseball
  5. Bicycling
  6. Boxing
  7. Capture the Flag
  8. Cross Country Skiing
  9. Dancing
  10. Dodgeball
  11. Downhill Skiing
  12. Field Hockey
  13. Golf
  14. Gymnastics
  15. Handball
  16. Hiking
  17. Horseback Riding
  18. Hula Hoop
  19. Ice Hockey
  20. Ice Skating
  21. Individual Sports
  22. Jumping Jacks
  23. Jumping Rope
  24. Kayaking
  25. Kick the Can
  26. Kickball
  27. Kickboxing
  28. King of the Hill
  29. Lacrosse
  30. Martial Arts
  31. MMA
  32. Paddleboard
  33. Pilates
  34. Raking leaves
  35. Raquetball
  36. Resistance Training
  37. Rock climbing
  38. Roller Skating
  39. Rowing
  40. Running
  41. Shoveling
  42. Snowboarding
  43. Snowshoeing
  44. Soccer
  45. Softball
  46. Street Hockey
  47. Surfing
  48. Swimming
  49. Tag
  50. Tennis
  51. Volleyball
  52. Wrestling
  53. Yoga
  54. Cheerleading
  55. Jumping on the trampoline

Did I miss something?  What exercise for teens works in your house?  Comment below!

Make exercise for tweens and teens an important part of their mental health routine. Self-care is an important key to curbing those attitudes. #tween #teen #teenhealth

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Dr. Dawn

Monday 8th of July 2019

Physical activity is so important!

Laurie O'Rourke

Monday 8th of July 2019

Exercise surely is key. Thanks for commenting.


Thursday 2nd of May 2019

The mental benefits of exercise for teenagers and tweens is absolutely crucial. With all the depression and negative aspects of social media there is nothing more important in our house than daily exercise. Share the same great thoughts, thanks for putting it into words!

Laurie O'Rourke

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Hey Ben, I couldn't agree more. Exercise is the most natural remedy for so many things. Thanks for coming by.

Jared James

Sunday 17th of March 2019

Definitely exercising is for everyone and especially the kids for don't like to go out its crucial for them to get up do something I would go for Kayaking and running, both including exploring places while enjoying the nature and surrounding respectively!

Laurie O'Rourke

Sunday 17th of March 2019

Hey Jared, totally agree with you. The more interactive with their surroundings the better. Kids who don't like to get into sports are sometimes anxious of social situations or just introverts ... nature is a great way to get them involved. Thanks for commenting :)

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