How to Encourage Young Teenagers to Exercise

athletic woman

It seems as though every generation is accused of being less active than the one before. That may or may not be true but the fact is, the current generation of younger teens really is less active than any generation that went before – ever! With so many texting and messaging their way through life, about the only part of their bodies that get exercise are their fingers, eyes and occasionally their brains. Yes, it’s meant in a light-hearted manner but the sad reality is, it’s all too true. If you are looking to encourage young teenagers to exercise there are ways to go about it without setting yourself up for a major rebellion.

What Not to Say

If your teen is like 90% of them out there, about the worst thing you can do is talk to them about getting healthy! Young teens tend to be rebellious by nature and if you want them to do something, the absolute worst thing you can do is tell them it is ‘good for them.’ Try that and you’ll lose them for sure. There is a ton of well-meaning advice out there that will insist that you need to talk to your kids about getting healthy, but be careful on this one!

Make It Fun

Actually, the best thing you can do is to make it fun. You don’t need to let on that you are trying to get them in the habit of exercising. Instead find something they really like to do and find ways for them to do it more often. Does your kid like to skate? Why not buy him or her a trendy new pair of skates or Heelys like they have on About the best advice came from a teenager online who blogged that she got tired of people reminding her she was overweight and out of shape. Her mother made it fun for her so she began exercising simply because it was fun, not because she was out of shape.

Bring in the Gang

Kids are social creatures by nature so the best way to encourage your young teenager to get up and get active is to involve other kids. Have a skating party, a rowing contest, a football game or any activity that involves team effort. Camping and hiking is great but what kids of that age really like is hanging out together after school. Young teenagers used to roller-blade but today’s young teens like to disguise their skates with trendy Heelys. These are like sneakers with wheels on the bottom of the sole. They can walk but it does take getting used to, or they can glide. Get the parents together, buy your kids Heelys and see if they aren’t anxious to hit the streets!

If you must talk to your young teen about the need to exercise, the best way to do it is in a non-insulting manner. Never make allusions to their body weight because that will often trigger them to eat more and exercise less. The best way to talk about exercise is to make it fun. Kids respond best to that and if you have any hope of getting your young teens away from their mobile phones, you’d better find something that strikes their fancy. If not, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. That’s for sure.