Exercise should be a part of every child’s daily activity. There are many benefits to exercise. It will help kids build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints. It prevents or delays the development of chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension) and promotes health. Exercise improves mental health and also helps achieve and maintain a healthy bodyweight. These are the top five safe exercises that any adolescent can perform on a daily basis:
- Body Weight Squats – Squats are one of the most basic all-around fitness exercises that you can do. They are truly a full body movement and incorporate almost every muscle in the body. These can be performed anywhere. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can place your hands behind your head. Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips. Continue down to full depth if you are able, and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
- Push Ups – Push ups are a great exercise that people forget about. They are a great way to improve upper body strength. Push ups use a wide variety of muscles including your chest, back, shoulders, triceps and abs. They help stabilize the body. There are many different variations that you can do from regular push ups to modified push ups using your knees, close grip to wide grip, and incline to decline. All are very effective and help improve strength.
- Walking/Running Hills – This is one of the best exercises to improve overall fitness. It is a great way to lose weight and build cardiovascular endurance. It will build strong legs as it uses your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves effectively.
- Jump Rope – Jumping rope has many benefits. It can increase your cardiovascular fitness levels dramatically. It is a great exercise to help lose weight and improve muscle tone in the lower body and legs. Jumping rope for 10 minutes is equivalent to running a mile. And doing it for 30 minutes can burn up to approximately 300 calories.
- Planks – Planks are one of the most powerful isolation moves you can perform. They are the go-to abdominal exercise for a lot of trainers, as they work your abs (including the internal abdominal muscles), back, arms and legs. Planks help promote stabilization, posture and balance by building strength in our stabilizers and internal abs.