Teen fitness should be something practiced every day for at least an hour. However, it is usually during these years that our children become less involved in organized sports. So what as a parent can you do?
Seek out the activities that provide the best teen fitness and the most enjoyment when traditional sports have lost their interest.
These are just a few things that your kids might be into.
If your kid has more of an interest in earning a dollar point them towards jobs that could provide them with some level of activity as well. Camp Counselor, assistant coaches for youth sports, even working around a construction yard. And let's not forget baby sitting.
Thinking Great! But How?
My kids would definitely spend their day staring at the TV, listening to music, or working on the computer (work is a relative term in this case but play sounded to casual). I'm sure that its just their way of escaping from the academic and social pressures they're working through along with their own physical and emotional changes.
As strange as it may sound, give them the choice of what they do to be active. They want to be treated and respected as individuals with the power to make their own decisions. No wonder they don't want to do one more thing that we tell them. Just keep pointing them at the benefits of being physically active.
Now if you're lucky enough to have your teen pointing towards a higher level of activity, you'll need to be supportive. Give them and their friends a ride, help with equipment, or maybe your companionship. Their friends are going to have more influence than you so create those opportunities that can include their friends.
Keep it in-line with their schedule. There are plenty of gyms that offer teen memberships and there are now gyms that are exclusive for kids and teens. If its something that you will do together maybe a exercise DVD.
Start off Healthy
If your teen is unusually sedentary or obese then you should speak with your doctor. They may be able to recommend programs that will allow for a safe slow start.
Food is another challenge during this time due to body-image issues. Many times your teen won't eat any "fats" which is problematic. Again you should consult your doctor in these instances or if your teen is exercising is an overly compulsive manner.
If there is any hint of injury it is better to take a time out and let your teen heal properly.
What To Do Together?
Sometimes you can help by role modeling with regular exercise as well. Some activities that you can do together are bike riding, hitting a tennis ball, swimming - race each other it's fun, and maybe a game of touch football. The benefits go beyond better health by helping to create a better relationship between you and your teen.