Healthy Living For Teens

Teen Health Issues

If you’re the parent of a teenage girl, you probably already know that weight is a touchy subject. Therefore, if you notice your daughter gaining some weight, you may be confused about how to address it. You don’t want to let her become lazy and unfit, but at the same time, you shudder at the thought of saying anything that might lead her to feel bad about herself. All parents want the best for their children, but how do you encourage fitness without coming off critical.

Teens making healthy foods

1. Take it Easy and Start With Small Steps

You don’t have to enroll your teen in some sort of boot camp to get her moving. If she isn’t into exercise, start with something small, like suggesting the two of you begin taking walks together after school. Never bring up the issue of weight while suggesting this. Instead, simply focus on the importance of physical fitness for health. Share what you know about the benefits of exercise, such as the fact that starting to exercise young will lead to a healthier and more energetic life overall.

2. Encourage Physical Activities

Try to encourage involvement in sports, dance and other physical activities. If she has shown any interest in a certain sport in the past, ask her when the tryouts are happening. If she is very out of shape but still wants to try, consider signing her up for a community sports team that is divided up by skill versus age. Getting to play with other kids of her same skill level will increase her self-esteem and make her more likely to want to continue with sports in the future.

3. Consider Active Video Games

Almost all teenagers love video games, but only certain games will create the opportunity for exercise. Try playing the games together as a family, and consider setting a limit on non-active game and television time.

4. Set a Good Example

You don’t have to go to the gym for hours everyday, but if you follow reasonable exercise schedule yourself, you’re more likely to influence your daughter to do the same. Try to lead by example without putting too much pressure on her. Share things like how good exercise makes you feel, and how you’ve noticed that you have much more energy at work than before you were exercising. These positive notes will stick in your daughter’s head and help her realize the value of moving her body as much as possible.

Debra Beck

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