New Year’s resolutions are in and we know exercising more is one of the most popular ones each year. However, for teenagers all over America this goal is becoming quite difficult to accomplish.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revealed that adolescents spend less than 5 percent of their time at school engaging in physical activity. Yet, school is where they do most of their exercise.
That means teenagers are not getting the 60 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the doctors for healthy development and obesity prevention.
The study divulged by the AAP shows how children are more likely to be active when they are outdoors nearby their homes or schools. It urges parents and doctors to demand for safer neighborhoods that help the kids walk to school and be more active each day.
The study also recommends working with the school community to improve physical education, recess, and after school programs.
What else can we do
As parents, we need to find ways to help our teenagers exercise more, and find places where they can exercise as much as they can. They need vigorous activity, which means they need to sweat and do cardio and feel their muscles working. They can do cycling, swimming or running. They don’t necessarily need to have a gym membership to be active. They can run as part of a running group, or swim in any of the many public pools around their city. Hiking and dancing are also great ways to stay active.
Playing soccer, basketball, hockey and tennis are also ways to keep them not only active, but also focused. Sports are important factors for physical and emotional development.
Kids need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, which can be broken down into blocks. They can run for 20 minutes, walk to school 10 minutes and play soccer for 30 minutes and they will have their daily dose of physical activity, and all the benefits that come with it.
It is also a good idea to involve their friends. A partner can be a classmate, or neighbor, or someone in the family who likes to run or has a healthy lifestyle. That way they can work as teams towards a healthier living.
How do you help your kids to stay active?