How to Encourage Your Teenager to Exercise and be Healthy

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 14 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years were overweight in 1999; the number of overweight adolescents has tripled in the last two decades. Teenagers who are overweight suffer from a variety of health complications, including problems that are normally associated only with adults, such as diabetes type 2 and heart disease. Overweight teenagers also often have to deal with teasing and bullying and may develop very low self-esteem. If you are the parent of an overweight teenager, then you need to help your child lose weight, and the best way to get a teenager to lose weight is to get them to exercise.

By now, pretty much everybody knows that the key to healthy weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. When adults want to lose weight, they often go on low calorie diets and work out regularly. Although this method is effective, parents should be careful not to push a low calorie diet on teenagers. Teenagers are still developing, and they need enough food to sustain their growth. Also, when put under pressure to lose weight and eat less, teenagers, especially teenage girls, have a high risk of developing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. If you are the parent of an overweight teenager, you should stress healthy eating and exercise. Because exercise is so crucial for healthy weight loss in teenagers, you need to know how to encourage your child to exercise. According to Tummy Tuck in Michigan, obesity or overweight is one of the major health issues that most of the kids today are facing.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has found that 43 percent of adolescents watch more than two hours of television each day. Teenagers also spend an increasingly large amount of time playing video games and surfing the Internet. No wonder so many teenagers are overweight! If you want you teenager to become more active, then you need to limit the amount of time he or she spends watching television, playing video games, and going online. If your child really loves video games, you could also encourage him or her to play one of the new, physically demanding video games. In the popular game Dance Dance Revolution, players actually have to dance; they are scored based on how well they mimic dance instructions. Dance Dance Revolution can be purchased for home use, and it is also available at most arcades. Many arcades also have other physically demanding games in which you simulate activities like riding a bike, kayaking, or boxing.

If your child has expressed any interest in a sport, whether it’s a martial art, swimming, football, paintballing or skateboarding, try to encourage that interest. If possible, sign your child up for classes and buy the necessary equipment. It is important that your child actually enjoys the sport he or she is playing; otherwise, he or she will most likely quit. So let your child decide which sport to play and be as supportive as possible.

If your teenager is more interested in academics than sports, remind him or her that participation in high school sports looks good on college and scholarship applications. A student with perfect grades, academic-based extracurricular activities, and sports always has an advantage over a student with perfect grades, academic-based extracurricular activities, and no sports. As a parent, you should try to lead by example. Do you exercise? Do you watch a lot of television? You cannot expect your teenager to develop good exercise habits when you yourself do not. You should also try to engage in physical activity with your child; for example, you could go hiking on your next family outing.



Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.