Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

Helping Your Teen Establish a Healthy Relationship With the Gym

teens using cardio equipment at planet fitness
Encouraging teen fitness can have a significant positive impact on your kid's overall health and happiness!
by Lindsay Tigar

The job of being a parent can be equally demanding and rewarding; as your children grow and mature, your role takes on new dimensions and responsibilities. While it may come as a shock that your baby has suddenly become a teenager, the older they get, the more opportunity you have to introduce them to your favorite pastimes and passions. The gym is no exception!


In fact, encouraging teen fitness can have a significant positive impact on your kid's overall health and happiness. When your son or daughter starts to play team sports in middle or high school, it could be a fun experience to invite them along for a one of your gym sessions. You could use the time to show them how to use various machines (and get some bonding in).


Helping your teenager establish a healthy relationship with the gym, exercise, and overall wellness could provide many benefits — both for them and you. Here's what you need to know.


They Need Exercise Like You Do


While physical demands transform with age, generally speaking, nearly everyone needs some sort of heart-pumping activity to maintain vitality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children require three different types of physical activity: aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening.


For teen fitness, cardio is the most important. The CDC recommends 60 minutes or more, three days a week. Strength work should also happen three times a week, whether it's push-ups, pull-ups, or weight training. In order to maintain healthy bones, the CDC says jogging is an effective exercise, and should happen three times a week.


Your Child Is Encouraged by You


Remember to set a good example! According to several studies, there is a correlation between how your child perceives physical activity and how you talk about it (and, of course, practice it).


The very act of encouraging your son or daughter to join you for a sweat session could help them view running, lifting, or dancing in a positive light. Teen fitness is often defined in the first stages of pre-adulthood, making it essential to get them started early and guide them in developing an admiration for the habit.


Fitness Can Help Your Teen Build Self-Confidence


With changing hormones, new demands from their school work, and additional responsibilities, those years between 13 and 18 can be somewhat complicated for many kids. But with a focus teen fitness, your child can build the confidence and self-authority they need to remain focused and assured in themselves.


Studies have directly tied physical activity to the perception we have of ourselves, illustrating that with every mile completed and rep counted, we feel better about every aspect of our lives. An appreciation of exercise could help teach your children to be better friends, more diligent students, and more balanced individuals overall.


Exercise Could Even Help Them Improve Test Scores


You might not want to believe it, but one day, that child of yours will fly the coop in search of their own pastures. But to achieve college-level success, studying is paramount.


One way to help them remain focused? Through a gym routine. That's right! Studies have indicated that teen fitness is tied to higher IQ levels for young adults. It makes sense — a midday workout can help you focus on a project at work, too.


So when you (or your child) have stressful days, why not suggest a family trip to the gym? As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.