Whether you have a specific fitness goal in mind, such as making the football team or looking great in super hot prom dress, or you just want to look and feel better all the time, with these five workout tips for teens. You don’t have to spend your whole life in the gym slaving away at weight machines to get a workout. There are lots of ways to get fit and still have fun doing it.
One of the hardest things about an exercise program is getting and staying motivated. Set up a reward system to keep your eye on the prize when your dedication starts to drop off. While one large reward when you actually reach your goal can be a powerful motivator, having a few rewarding milestones along the way can be even more effective. Be sure to track your progress diligently, whether it’s in pounds, inches, or duration of workout. Setting unrealistic expectations that are nearly impossible to achieve is a surefire way to sink your enthusiasm, so don’t vow to workout for three hours a day, five times a week if you’re just getting started. Try something more achievable, like 20 or 30 minutes a day.
Aerobic activity, or physical activity that gets and keeps your heart rate up, will tone you up and make you feel better both physically and mentally. This can be anything from brisk walking to dancing to playing sports to joining an exercise class at a gym. Your goal should be getting in about an hour of aerobic activity every day of the week, but you should start where you feel comfortable and build from there. Finding an aerobic exercise you enjoy and a time of day when you feel the most energetic is key to maintaining a good aerobic exercise routine. Some of us are morning people, while others get their energy in the afternoon or evening. You don’t have to commit to just one type of aerobic activity either. Try a bunch of different types until you find one or more that you really enjoy.
Weight training is a great way to build strength not only in your muscles but also in your bones. Because your body is still growing and developing, though, it’s important that you not overdo it. Work each muscle group equally to create a balanced, healthy physique and don’t go for body building, bulk-up levels of weight. Stick to moderate amounts of weight and lots of reps instead. Allow your body at least 48 hours between weight training sessions to give your muscles time to recover, and alternate between muscle groups, such as upper and lower body workouts.
Getting others involved in your exercise routine can be a great way to stay motivated and keep it fun. Having someone to chat with while you’re working out will keep the boredom away, plus a little healthy competition may even push you to work harder. If you’re out running or cycling, having a companion is also a good safety idea.
Speaking of safety, there are a few things you should do to make sure your workout doesn’t hurt you rather than help you. You’ve heard the saying, “No pain, no gain?” That refers to the burn you feel when your muscles are being challenged, and it does not mean you should be feeling actual pain. If something hurts, stop doing it, as you’re risking injury by continuing. Before exercising, be sure to warm up and stretch, then cool down after the workout is over. Concentrate on proper form and smooth, controlled movements when working with weights so you don’t strain and hurt yourself.