These are well-balanced exercises for teenagers to improve core strength and muscle growth, in turn, boosting overall confidence and promoting body positivity.
The formative years for any individual is a crucial phase of life. At this point, habits are formed, and we slowly learn to make choices that determine the course of our destiny. Without a doubt, exercising has become a vital ingredient for the general maintenance of the mind and the body. The question then arises: what exercises for teenagers are most suitable?
A study The Lancet: Global trends in insufficient physical activity among adolescents: a pooled analysis of 298 population-based surveys with 1·6 million participants has found that in the United States, about 72% of adolescents between 11 and 17 don’t exercise for at least one hour daily. Furthermore, it revealed that 64% of males don’t exercise enough, compared to the relatively higher 80.5% of females of the same age.
This is why this write-up will highlight some easy exercises to do at home without equipment. Going beyond the physical contributions, this article will also showcase some types of exercise that will provide mental health benefits.
Easy and effective exercises for teenagers
There are a lot of exercise routines for different purposes. Let’s take a look at a few morning exercises for teenagers that are easy and effective for body health.
Start your day with aerobic exercise like running. If the space is available and you don’t mind going outdoors for a bit, then this is an excellent way to start. Cardio workouts touch almost every muscle in the body, as it gets your heart pumping and healthy.
You can start with low-intensity running (jogging) for 3 minutes, then you round with 2-minute long, intense running. Repeat this sequence one more time, and you will be off to a great start.
2. Jumping rope
As a substitute for running, you can also use a jump rope. This is suitable if you want to keep the entire activity within the home.
It is quite similar to running and can be used interchangeably. Moreover, it works on all the body muscles and helps get you started for the day. There are two options when jumping rope, as you can choose to take count or fix a specific time for the routine.
If you prefer to keep count, then 500 times should suffice, and if your preference is timing, then 10 minutes should suffice. Either way, you will get the best result with your body and get it ready for the remaining workout activities.
Squats work on your lower body muscles and are considerably much easier to do, and require no equipment. There is a variety of squat workouts. But being a teenager, you can start with a basic squat. To squat, you stand upright, arms stretched in front of you, then slowly bend your knees like you are about to take a seat.
Stop when you are close to a sitting position and repeat the sequence 9 more times; totaling your Squats to 10. As you gain more strength and endurance, feel free to increase the number of squats you do.
Planks are crucial to developing and strengthening your core. It is also a good workout for your abs as it helps in strengthening your abdominal muscles.
Start in a push-up position and make sure your entire body is flat with your forearms holding you up. Then, bring your hands together and squeeze your core, remaining in that position for about a minimum of 30 seconds. In due time you can increase to 45 seconds or even 60 seconds.
Another good exercise for your lower body is the lunge. Lunges work on your thigh muscles and can help you build stamina.
To execute, stand upright and place both hands on your hips, then take a big step forward with either of your legs, depending on which you are working on. Lower your body in that stance until your right leg is parallel to the floor and your left shin is vertical.
Repeat the sequence by alternating the leg you put forward. Repeat the motion five times for each, totaling 10 Lunges altogether.
There are many variations of push-ups, and you can feel free to choose whichever type you prefer. Push-ups generally work on your upper body muscles, stretching your chest muscles, biceps and triceps.
But how many push-ups should you do a day? Ideally, you can start with 10 push-ups on your first day but endeavor to increase the number as your capacity grows.
Sample 30 minutes exercise plan for teenagers
It’s fairly easy to combine the above exercises into one simple workout plan that’ll get you started on a heart-pumping, strength, and endurance building fitness journey. Here’s a sample 30 minutes exercise plan that even beginner’s can try.
|Exercise||Reps x Sets||Estimated Time|
|Running||–||5 – 10 Minutes|
|Jumping Rope||500 x 2||10 Minutes|
|Squats||10 x 2||3 Minutes|
|Planks||2||1 Minute (30 seconds each)|
|Lunges||10 x 2||3 Minutes|
|Push-ups||10 x 2||3 Minutes|
How to squeeze in morning exercise into your daily routine
Dealing with daily living and expectations is hard enough. First, you have to worry about assignments and different school-related projects (plus sports practice if you are an athlete).
Then you come home, and chores are waiting to be done. So how do I squeeze a workout routine into my daily schedule? It is pretty easy; you just need to make a few tweaks in your daily routines, and you should be able to find time for a regular workout.
Research Brigham Young University: BYU study says exercise may reduce motivation for food has shown that mornings are the most suitable times for working out. Your hormonal disposition at this time of the day helps in the better metabolism of fat. Therefore, you will likely reduce more fat deposits in different areas of your body.
All you have to do is to slot exercise into your daily routine and sleep early. If you have been a nightcrawler, then you may have to make the sacrifice of hitting the bed a little bit earlier than you would typically do. However, sleeping early, coupled with an alarm system that wakes you up at your preferred time, should be enough.
Benefits of morning exercises for teenagers
For a teenager, there are several benefits of a daily workout routine. Some of which are highlighted below:
Bone and muscle strengthening
Regular exercise helps build strong bones that can reduce the rate of bone density loss later in life. Additionally, exercise routines have a way of stretching the body’s limits to withstand pressure, which helps to develop muscle mass and increase overall strength.
Another benefit of morning exercises is their contribution to weight control. Between 2017 to 2018, in the United States, about 14.4 million children and adolescents were affected by obesity.
Exercises performed early in the morning before breakfast can kickstart your metabolism. This way your body will keep burning fats through the rest of the day even while you are studying at your desk.
Sickness and fatigue resistance
Morning exercises tend to boost your body’s immunity especially when you work out outdoors. The fresh oxygen that enters your body will help to strengthen your immune system. According to different surveys Medline Plus: Exercise and immunity, teenagers engaging in exercises are less susceptible to infectious diseases.
Additionally, as your heart beats faster during the workout routines, it develops an endurance for physical activities. As a result, you don’t get easily fatigued by other tasks carried out during the day.
Self-esteem and self-confidence are major issues teenagers have to deal with at this stage of their lives. And one proven way to combat it is through exercises. Exercising helps achieve this as happy hormones are secreted during the workout sessions.
Moreover, waking up daily to work out also helps develop discipline, a key ingredient for success. The best part is that, if you usually have a slow daily routine, morning exercises will get you up faster and energize you for the entire day.
In the growth phase, most of the process occurs during nighttime and moments of sleep. The interrelation between sleep and exercise has been questioned severally. In a research National Library of Medicine: Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review, morning exercises have been linked to improved sleeping habits by enhancing metabolic rate and hormone production in teenagers.
Improved stamina and energy level
Morning exercises will improve on your overall stamina and strength for the day. Activities like running, swimming, and other cardio workouts enhance your stamina and general energy level. As your muscles grow, your strength increases, and you can use more energy. So, ensure you perform a few exercises before heading out of the house.
Safety and Precautions
To ensure your safety and to yield the best result, endeavor to include these activities in your daily workout routine:
Before the commencement of the workout session, do two things:
- Fuel your engines
You need the energy to actively participate in any workout routine. So you may want to get something to eat, preferably a low-carb protein diet.
The energy provided will ensure that you don’t get easily fatigued during the session. If your goal includes weight loss, then you could skip this.
- Be hydrated
Water is the medium for all activities in the body, and to keep your engines running, you have to stay hydrated. Whether or not you are trying to lose weight, ensure to always stay hydrated.
There are few things to keep in mind during your exercise session as mentioned below:
- Remain hydrated
All you have to do is pace yourself and stay hydrated during the exercise. You may want to keep a water bottle close by so you can take a sip without breaking out of your workout stance.
- Monitor your pulse rate
When exercising, especially in the mornings, you are expected to have a device that can keep watch of your pulse rate. The idea behind this is to keep you notified of potential arrhythmia, which can be dangerous to your health.
- Proper ventilation
During an exercise, you need to ensure that you have a well-spaced area with proper ventilation. This is an important aspect because your body is performing an aerobic activity, and we use a lot of oxygen.
Finish off with another cup of water and a bath to wash off the sweat. You might also want to have a tracker to monitor your growth.
The goal, in the end, is to have a well-rounded adolescent growing in stature and confidence. This 30 minutes workout session is well suited to help you achieve this, and with consistency and discipline, you’ll get that dream physique you crave.
|↑1||The Lancet: Global trends in insufficient physical activity among adolescents: a pooled analysis of 298 population-based surveys with 1·6 million participants|
|↑2||Brigham Young University: BYU study says exercise may reduce motivation for food|
|↑3||Medline Plus: Exercise and immunity|
|↑4||National Library of Medicine: Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review|