I was recently asked for advice that I would give teenagers about exercise. Nike already stole my short answer (Just do it!) so I’m going to give a little bit longer one in this post.
For teens who aren’t already exercising: Exercise is the single best thing you can do to help yourself ward off the hazards of being a teenager. Studies have shown that teens who exercise have higher self-esteem, higher grades, and a lower chance of being obese or becoming obese in adulthood. Exercise is also an excellent way to ease the emotional pain and angst that are so common in teens.
If you’re already an athlete: My advice to you is not to focus strictly on one sport. Many coaches will tell you differently, but it’s very important to cross-train. For one thing, most successful pro athletes played more than one sport when they were young. More importantly, if you’re only playing one sport, you’re only using one set of muscles. It’s important to engage in different activities to prevent muscle imbalance. Having muscle imbalances can increase your risk of injury.
Playing more than one sport also reduces the chance that you’ll burn out on the sport you’re really passionate about. Plus, it’s more fun to play more sports!
Whatever you do, get moving. It helps your mood, your physical health, and your grades. Every bit helps!
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