Walks and Bike Rides
Organize family activities that incorporate physical activity, such as walks and bike rides. Outdoor chores such as raking leaves or shoveling snow are a good way to squeeze exercise into a busy weekend. Finding a physical activity that you and your child can do together, such as swimming at the local YMCA, is a great way for both of you to exercise and for you to spend quality time together.
Research has shown that even relatively small variations in the amount of physical activity young people get can make the difference between a healthy weight and being overweight. If your teen is not physically active enough, encourage them to start by changing their behavior gradually. Setting aside some time each day for jumping rope, kicking a ball in the yard, or skateboarding around the block will soon make a difference that your child will be able to see and feel.
Encourage your teenager to become active in organized sports, which can be an excellent way of get the recommended amounts of physical activity and establishing regular exercise habits that can become the basis of lifelong fitness.
Make Activity Appealing
If you are concerned that your teenager is not active enough, try to find ways to make physical activity appeal more to her. If they are shy about exercising with others, for example, home exercise videos could help them be more active. Your teen is now old enough that they can make their own choices about the kinds of physical activity they want to do. Help them understand that however they choose to be active is fine, as long as they are physically active on a regular basis.
Too Much Exercise
In addition to being aware of whether your teenager is not getting enough exercise, pay attention if they appear to be exercising too much. It is around this time that many children become susceptible to pressure to lose weight and develop a certain body type through exercise and diet. Children who participate in certain sports or activities that emphasize weight targets or body shape, such as wresting or ballet, can be especially vulnerable to this kind of pressure.
If your teen plays a contact sport, they should wear a mouth guard to protect against dental injury and concussion.