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10 Physical and Mental Benefits of Exercise for Teens

four athletes running on a track
Going to the gym is a great way to meet friends and meet your goals! Here are 10 different benefits you can take advantage of by working out during your high school years.

by Mary Lambkin

As a busy high schooler, you have to juggle the demands of your family, teachers, coaches, and friends! This can leave little time for you to focus on your own health, but if you think you don't have the time or energy to go to the gym, think again!

Especially at this age, the physical and mental benefits of exercise can help you establish healthy habits and find success in multiple areas of life. Even if you've never worked out, after a few gym visits, you'll likely realize how awesome exercising can be! Read on to learn about 10 benefits you can enjoy by working out during your high school years.

1. Less Stress

Regular exercise can offer a number of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety. If you're feeling bogged down by friend drama, difficult assignment deadlines, or a family argument, try stepping outside for a 30-minute walk or heading to the gym for a quick workout! You'll be surprised how exercise — even just 10 minutes or fewer — can clear your head and relieve stress.

2. Healthier Skin

You can keep that youthful glow long past your teenage years by exercising regularly. In fact, routine exercise could help delay signs of aging for years to come! Pair your workout with a healthy diet to work toward reducing acne and stay fresh-faced for your yearbook photo.

3. More Zzzzzs

Fighting insomnia or staying up late binge-watching your favorite show? Start working out regularly and you may find yourself falling into a healthier sleep routine. Exercise can help you sleep deeper, and sleep longer, ultimately delivering some well-rested results.

4. Less Negativity

If you approach your workout with a positive mindset, your upbeat attitude could grow exponentially afterward. Releasing stress, zoning out, and focusing on your own health during a workout can help you approach any situation in life with more positivity and confidence.

Worried you won't pass your midterm exam? Hung up on an ex? Hit the gym for a sweat session (to the beat of your favorite playlist) and see how your perspective can change after!

5. Boosted Energy Levels

You'd think a tough workout would leave you drained for the rest of the day but in fact, the opposite is often the case. Exercising can provide you with a great energy boost! Next time you're feeling tired, try fighting the fatigue and grogginess with a brisk walk, a stretching session, or a bodyweight workout!

6. Academic Excellence

Exercise is often associated with improved academic performance — imagine steps on the treadmill leading to higher marks on your next report card! Over time, you can boost brain health, confidence, and your ability to focus in class with regular exercise.

7. More Momentum

Whether you're looking to get fit for a school sports season or look great for prom, exercise can help on your mission. A solid workout routine can move you closer to your physical goals, and the mental benefits of working out can help you gain momentum toward emotional, academic, and personal goals too!

8. New Friends

Working out is a great way to make friends. Find the perfect workout buddy and start looking forward to exercising as both a physical and social event! Finding friends to exercise with can help you stay accountable, push your limits, and better enjoy your workout.

9. Stronger Self-Image

Regular exercise can help boost your self-esteem and give you the confidence you need to ace your next class presentation or ask your crush out on a date. Uncover a new level of confidence by trying new workouts and challenging yourself at the gym!

10. Access to a Healthier Lifestyle

You only live once, so why not make this life your best one? The undeniable physical and mental benefits of exercise can set you up for a future of success! Establish healthy habits while you're young and tackle upcoming life decisions around college, work, and relationships with a healthy mind and body. Even if you're new to working out, there's no better time to start than your teen years!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.