Getting Fit in Your Teens: 7 Things You Need to Know

Getting fit as a teenager can be difficult. Today’s teens are busier and under more pressure than they’ve ever been before, and more time indoors and on screens can mean that they do less exercise than teenagers in previous generations. Teenagers want to fit in with their friends and look good, but with changing bodies and mental stresses, building fitness can seem tough. If you are a teenager looking to gain fitness, build muscle and increase stamina, here are seven things that you need to know before you get started.

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How Much Exercise Do Teenagers Need?

Teenagers need around an hour of moderate to high intensity exercise every day. For younger children and teens, this is often achieved simply by running around the garden and playing with friends in the playground. But for older teenagers, things can be more difficult.

The good news is any movement that boosts your heart rate counts. So, things like walking briskly to school count towards that hour.

If you are wondering if you are walking briskly or not, try picking up the pace until you can feel yourself breathing more heavily.

Can You Do Too Much Exercise?

Yes, teenagers’ bodies and minds are still growing and developing, so it’s important to be careful when trying to get fit.

At any age, a combination of cardio exercise and strength training is important for building strength, stamina, and overall fitness. But you shouldn’t push yourself too hard or exercise for too long.

It’s normal to ache a little the day after, but if you are getting injured, struggling to sleep, feel very tired, or find movement difficult after a workout, you should exercise less, or reduce the intensity.

Can Teenagers Take Supplements?

While some supplements, like multivitamins, can be a great idea, as they promote overall health and well-being, anything strong like fat burners, testosterone supplements or steroids to speed up muscle growth should be avoided. When it comes to any kind of diet or exercise supplement you should learn if they are dangerous or not before considering them.

What Kinds of Exercises Are Ideal for Teens?

Team sports and group exercises are ideal for teenagers because they also help to build confidence, grow friendships, improve social skills, and they are great fun.

But away from team sports, as long as you are careful, you can practice the same exercises as adults, including things like weights, yoga, walking, swimming, and jogging. You might also enjoy more adventurous exercises like hiking, climbing and paddleboarding with friends.

Consider Size and Ability

None of us are the same, but this can be even more true of teenagers. Two teens of the same age might be completely different sizes and shapes and at totally different phases of their physical development. Take into account your own shape and size, as well as your physical ability and don’t just assume that you can do the same things as your friends.

Be Patient

Building fitness and strength takes time. Many of us get impatient and give up or try to push ourselves too hard when we don’t see results straight away. Instead, set small goals, celebrate small successes, and be patient. Bigger results will come if you stick with it.

Have Some Fun

Exercise should always be fun, and as a teenager, you already face enough pressure without adding more. Try to find things that you enjoy, and don’t be scared to try something new.

Getting fit as a teenager can help to reduce stress, boost confidence and mental health, and help you to form good habits that last a lifetime. People who enjoy exercise as teenagers are more likely to continue exercising as they get older, giving them the best chance to stay fit, healthy, and happy.

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