Adolescence is a pivotal phase of development marked by significant physical, emotional, and social changes. It is a period of self-discovery and transition from childhood to adulthood, during which numerous factors shape one’s future. One of the pivotal elements during adolescence is physical activity.
Engaging in regular physical activity during these formative years holds immense significance, not only for immediate well-being but also for long-term health. This article explores the crucial role of physical activity in adolescence, its multifaceted benefits, and how it can establish the groundwork for a lifetime of health and vitality.
Physical Activity In Adolescence – A Vital Component
Teens who are not physically active may suffer long-term effects as a result of their inactivity.
Lack of physical activity can lead to:
- Energy imbalance
- Increases the chances of obesity.
- Fast track to osteoporosis
- Increases chances of a stroke or heart attack.
- Increases the likelihood of developing diabetes or getting cancer.
It is especially important that teenagers limit their screen time to get enough sleep and exercise. Televisions from their bedrooms and putting time restrictions on their cellphones and video games can encourage them to get enough sleep and be active. Physical activity for teens should include aerobics and muscle and bone strengthening.
- Aerobic: moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise must consist of at least an hour of physical activity at least three days per week. E.g. dance, water aerobics, jumping jacks, weightlifting, cross-country skiing, jump rope, sprinting, etc.
- Muscle-and bone-strengthening: three days a week for an hour, young adults can engage in running, jogging, power walking, swimming, squats, swimming etc.
Benefits Of Physical Activity For Kids And Teens
How does achieving the right amount of exercise sustain one’s well-being and health?
Physical activity improves weight, height, and strength. When young adults engage in physical activity, it sets them up for a well-rounded quality of life. Here are some benefits it provides.
Incorporating physical activities into their daily routines is a healthy investment for their future. Here are some physical benefits to physical activity:
- Weight Control
- Increases lifespan
- Reduces risk of osteoporosis.
- Cancer risk is reduced.
- Reduces risk of obesity.
- Builds strong muscles and bones.
- Reduces degenerative diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Most people focus on just the physical advantages, there are several wins an adolescent can experience in his life. Most adolescents face academic and social stress. Exercise helps by releasing endorphins and dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects the mood and endorphins help them “feel good” in such times. Fortunately, physical activities help release these hormones.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Depression and Anxiety symptoms decline.
- Improved Mood.
- Boosts Self-esteem.
- Enhances Confidence.
- Enhances Cognitive performance.
- Reduces Stress levels.
- Memory concentration
Physical activity in adolescents is not just an opportunity to stay fit. Rather it is an investment in long-term health and wellbeing. They accrue tons of psychological and physical benefits that extend throughout their lives.
Parents, educators, families, and community members should understand that they are responsible for creating an environment that encourages adolescents, especially from childhood to engage in physical fitness. Recognizing the importance of such during this physical phase of development will empower the next generation to lead healthier and happier lives.