Exercising daily is important for teenagers

By Victoria Riggs

People are reminded everyday about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.

Eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly play a big part in being fit.

The latest technology trend in fitness are devices, such as Fit Bits, which challenge adults and teens to make exercise a part of their daily routine.

People cannot argue that exercise is wise for teenagers as they tend to spend more time inside watching television or playing video games and less time being active. Exercise is not only good for the body, but it also makes a person feel good on the inside as well. Teens should try to spend at least 60 minutes doing moderate physical activity each day.

Exercise benefits every part of the body because it causes the body to produce endorphins, chemicals that can help a person feel happy and increase self­ esteem. Exercise also promotes restful sleep.

Regular exercise enhances thinking and learnings skills, which may improve performance at school. Lastly, it can also give a person a sense of accomplishment when a certain goal is achieved.

Exercising improves appearance and assists in maintaining a healthy body weight as it burns more calories and develops a toned body; however, the amount of high ­intensity exercise needed to lose weight does vary with people. Some people may need to do more than 150 minutes of activity per week, and some may need to do less.

Diseases, such as type II diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer and stroke, which are found mostly with adults, are now becoming more common in teens. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of these medical conditions.

Working out will also help lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol. Brisk walking, running and other weight ­bearing exercises strengthen bones which helps prevent loss of bone density.

Staying active as a teen is extremely important. Becoming involved with a sport or other activity will encourage regular exercise.

There are three components that make up a well­ balanced exercise program: aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility training. Aerobic exercise gives the heart a good workout as it gets the heart pumping and quickens breathing. Team sports provide a great aerobic workout; however, biking, swimming and running are some examples that can be done individually. Strength training exercises, such as push­ ups, squats, leg raises increase muscle mass and help to build strong muscles.

When muscles are used, they become stronger and can increase endurance. Flexibility training activities helps the muscle and joints stretch easily and reduces the risk of sprains. Some activities like karate, ballet and gymnastics help a person stay flexible.

Staying fit and active is one of the biggest challenges teenagers face. If one is already exercising now, try to keep it up as it becomes more difficult to do as the schedule becomes busier.

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