I was asked to write an article recently about teen fitness. Which was great since I was researching ways I could host a more physically active birthday party for my newly 12 year old son. Synchronistically two other clients of mine asked me if I would train their teen daughters. I love training teens and kids! I feel it's important to keep our children active, especially since the rate of teen obesity is on the rise.
Whenever attempting to get your teen to be fit and healthy it's a good idea to do it in a super positive way. Never tell them they "have" to do it or they will be unhealthy. I always try to bring something fun to fitness for them. If you are stuck for good ideas to get your teen off the computer and tablet and out the door take a look below.
There are a few things to remember when getting your teen off the couch and into something physical. Here they are in a nutshell:
1) Make whatever it is FUN!
2) Let them join a sport
3) If they aren't really team oriented let them explore. Try out as many activities as you can get them to.
5) Create goals! They may not be super competitive with others but may respond to a goal they set for themselves like: a golfer may shoot for a hole in one, a gymnast may want to get to the point of performing a front handspring or as in the case of my son to be able to grasp 6 ladder rungs instead of 4 at a time.
6) Create a community. I find that good fitness habits are easier to keep if your friends, family and community have a level of expectation that you will be active and get your daily workout in. Help your teen by encouraging them to participate in group activities like a digital dance party or the Ninja obstacle course we created for my son's birthday party.
7) Let them teach you. Kids are never so happy as to show you what they know. If they've learned how to play field hockey let them show you how. If they are interested in tennis let them show you their great backhand. If they've just discovered a new trail let them take you on it.
8) Be an inspiration. Take your teen to your Zumba class, personal trainer or tennis pro. Odds are they will feel that spending time with them is just as important as taking time for yourself. They will also respond to what a pro has to say about fitness, form and safety.
9) Always reward great efforts with non-food items. If your teen has just run 3 miles for the first time take them to a movie as a reward. If they actually got a hole in one during a round of golf, offer to get them a $10
I-Tunes gift card. If they won last night's dance competition take them for a manicure.
10) Above all HAVE FUN! Wait didn't I just say that? Well it's worth repeating. LOL
Now go bond with your kids :)