It’s hard to think and plan for the future; I know all too well that I can hardly plan for tomorrow! However, when it comes to your physical health, the sooner you start exercising (and eating healthy), the better you’ll feel now, and the healthier you’ll be when you’re an adult.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), an organization dedicated to the health and safety of people living in the U.S., recommends that children and teens (6–17 yr. olds) should get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise 7 days a week. Think of ways you can add exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the store whenever possible, find a fun activity to do with your friends after school, or have a friend teach you a new sport or another activity that you’d like to try. Many people have trouble getting motivated.
Here are some tips to help get you moving:
- Block off time in your calendar a couple days a week to exercise. This visual aid will help you with time management.
- Check off the days you actually exercise. This can give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Work your way up. Start with exercising one day a week then slowly increase the number of days you plan to exercise.
- Tell a friend about your exercise plan. It might sound strange, but the fact that someone knows that you intend on working out helps you stick to your schedule.
- Challenge yourself. See how many push–ups, sit–ups, lunges, and squats you can do in a minute and/or how long it takes you to run a mile. Write this down and promise yourself that each week you will improve.
- Aside from increasing strength and endurance, exercise lowers your risk for heart disease, and physical activity releases hormones (endorphins) in your brain that relieve pain. Getting in shape now will make it easier to stay in shape later.