Keeping your teen moving

Fun tips to help your teen increase their physical activity.

Keeping your teen movingIf your teenager is already in the habit of lying on the couch, watching too much TV, pre-occupied with social media and it’s affecting their ability become healthy through physical activity and becoming overweight, it’s time to help them move to improve. Getting your teen to move at this point will be more difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few tips that Michigan State University Extension encourages:

  • If it doesn’t create a battle and they are still early teens, make their social media a reward for increasing their physical activity.
  • Rewards should be teen appropriate, for example promise your teen a trip to the beach, to go roller skating or ice-skating, a bike ride to a distant friends home or jogging or playing at a favorite outdoor park.
  • Get your teen involved in an organized sport and then support your teen with your frequent game attendance or coaching.
  • Make physical activity a family affair; modeling is the best behavior and predictor of future practice.
  • Buy systems and video or media games that promote physical activity.
  • Create friendly physical activity - competition amongst family and friends and couple it with rewards like certificates and trophies, if possible.
  • Join a club or enroll at a local community organization that promotes healthy living, like the Y, etc. Give memberships as gifts to individuals and families who cannot afford a full membership.
  • Investigate school sports that can lead to scholarships to college and encourage your teen to excel at their sport.
  • Encourage your teen’s self-esteem by promoting pride in their own athletic accomplishments, rather than comparing themselves to others.
  • If possible, provide equipment at home that can support your teens physical activity goals, if they are to shy about going outside the home to accomplish their exercise goal.

Keep in mind that sports and physical activity can keep your teen occupied and help them delay or stop their involvement with activities that are detrimental to their wellbeing, activities like early drug-use, sexual activity, alcohol-use and other experimentation.

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