Are you worried about your teens spending too much screen time? Do you want to help your teens build healthy habits? Exercise is a big part of staying healthy from birth to old age. How can you help homeschooled teens to be active?
With more and more teens spending so much time with their phones, laptops, and tablets, we need to motivate them to get active! There are so many fun ways to exercise. From swimming to volleyball to Old English Country Dancing–so many options.
A high school health class is a great way to not only teach teens about the benefits of exercise but to have them exercise.
What Kind of Exercise is Best for Teens?
Like adults, teens need four types of exercise:
- Strength Training
They don’t have to be separated into four distinct workouts. For example, ballet builds muscles, gives the heart a workout, and includes stretching and balance. The running in team sports not only gives you an aerobic workout, but builds muscle in the legs.
When you stretch a body part, you lengthen the muscles and associated soft tissues.
- Improves flexibility
- Maintains mobility
- Increase range of motion
- Increases blood flow
- Prevents injury
- Improves posture
- Improves sleep
- Eases anxiety
- Releases tension from muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Stretching increases flexibility, or how much your bone can move in any direction around a joint. It’s so important to stretch before and after muscle building or aerobic workouts because it warms the muscle and keeps the muscles from tightening up, preventing injury.
Aerobic exercise works out our heart muscle! It makes our heart pump harder and faster. It also gives our lungs a workout because they have to gulp in lots of fresh air for oxygen.
Here are some great ways to get your heart pumping:
- Climbing trees
- Ice skating
- Aerobic classes (kickboxing, Zumba)
Muscle strength is the amount of work your muscles can do.
Muscle endurance is how well a group of muscles can continue to work for a long period of time.
You build muscle strength and endurance through strength training where you focus on a particular body part. For example, sit-ups help build abdominal muscles.
When you work out to build muscle mass, you actually damage and tear the muscle (that’s how we get the phrase, “He’s ripped!). The muscle repairs itself and the repair is bigger than the original muscle.
Balance is the ability to maintain poise and physical equilibrium in various body positions.
Gymnastics, ballet, and ice skating all require balance.
Getting Teens to Exercise
I like to teach my teens about exercise and why the human body needs exercise. Then I let them create their own exercise plan. When I teach my teens about the human body, I want them to not just learn facts, but learn to take good care of their bodies so they are a blessing, not a burden in their years of adulthood.
I also have PE courses in high school. It’s simply a matter of logging hours exercising. We have used the following sports for PE:
- Working out at the gym
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Instead of tests, teens complete projects that instill healthy habits:
- Miraculous Amazing Wonderful Me!
- My Healthy Food Plan
- My Own First Aid Kit
- Exercise Plan
- “Do Not Smoke” Poster
- “Lies vs. Truth”
- Healthy Relationships Booklet
The eBook and Print textbook are in full color.
Take High School Health Online
I’m teaching High School Health using Healthy Living for Christian Teens online at True North Homeschool Academy. Live classes meet Thursdays from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. CT) for a full year. Join us and start your teen on his way to a more healthier life!
Sign up for high school health online HERE.
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!
For the Glory of God,