Exercise has many benefits. It can:
If you are severely overweight or you have other health problems such as diabetes, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.
Warming up and cooling down
If you haven't been active, a good goal is to start doing something physical every day. Give your lungs, heart, and muscles time to adjust. Think about your style. Do you like organized activities or exercising on your own? Do you need someone or something to help motivate you? If so, sign up for a class or workout with a friend or family member. Do something you enjoy. If you choose something you don't really like, you won't stick with it. To avoid getting burned out, do a variety of activities.
If you would like to exercise, but would rather get in shape in private there are some good options. You can:
Try to exercise for at least 60 minutes most days of the week. Starting slow and building up to this is just fine. You don’t need to do all of your exercise at once. Short 10 to 15 minute periods of activity work well too.
You also need to make sure that you’re not exercising too much. Some teens exercise more than is healthy in an effort to lose weight. This can be very dangerous and can be a sign of an eating disorder. Eat healthy meals that provide the right amount of calories for you to have the energy to exercise and keep a healthy weight.
If you play sports, you also need to be careful that you don’t overtrain. If you play one sport a lot, make sure that you take at least a couple of months off every year. It also helps to do a variety of activities, such as biking, swimming, and tennis.
If you get injured, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. You may need to do resistance training or non-weight bearing exercise such as water aerobics to help you recover.
Limit "screen time" to 2 hours or less per day. This includes TV, computer, video games, cellphone and iPad apps, and watching DVDs and movies. These activities are all fun and you don't have to give them up, but don't let them take the place of physical activities. Also try to limit the sweets, sodas, and high-fat fast foods you eat. Making healthier food choices can improve how you feel and help to maintain a healthy weight.
It's a good idea to have a physical exam before you start a new exercise program, especially if you have any medical problems. If you are sick, in pain, or tired, take a couple of days off from exercising. The goal is to get healthier with exercise, not to burn out or hurt yourself. If you get injured, see your healthcare provider to make sure that it is not more serious than it looks.