Are you aged between 11 and 18yrs? Do you do at least 60 minutes of exercise a day? Congratulations! – but you are in the minority. In fact research shows that 75% of our teenage population are not doing enough exercise for good health.
The reasons for this are many and varied: embarrassed about our bodies, don’t want to build big muscles, don’t want to get hot and sweaty, it’s just not the ‘cool’ thing to do, none of my friends or family do sport, it’s going to hurt, I’d far rather go on the computer or watch tv.
However, once you can get over these excuses try to think of the benefits of doing exercise. Not only are there huge health benefits but exercise also gives you a chance to make new friends, helps you relax, can be fun, helps you study better and you may even find you are rather good at it.
As parents we know that leading by example is the best way forward. An active parent is twice as likely to have active children. If you have an inactive teenager you may feel it is all too late. However, why not give it a go – decide on an activity that will inspire you and invite your family to join in. You may like to take on a challenge – a sponsored walk, swim or run. Or you may prefer to leave the car at home on a Sunday. Endeavour to walk all journeys of less than a mile. Start small – ensure the challenge is achievable. Small changes now may make big differences in the future for our children.
Doctors found 17 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls between 12 and 15 are classed as either overweight or obese. This comes as no surprise given that only 25% are doing enough exercise. It also reinforces why setting a good example is so important. So, get active and set your child up for life.