Rockford YMCA Befitteens (Custom)A lot of times when people hear the word ‘exercise’ they cringe. Do you think of sweat, hard work and boring? Exercise doesn’t have to be dreadful; in fact, it can be lots of fun! It is recommended that teens get one hour of physical activity in each day. Read on and discover four tips on fitting activity into your everyday life all while having fun.

  1. Make time. One of the number one reasons people stop exercise is lack of time. We are all busy but the truth is, you just have to fit in it. If you don’t drive, have an adult drop you off at your gym or the bike path. If you are there, you might as well make the most of it. Do sprints on the bike path or jog and walk. If you aren’t able to leave the house and you are sitting around watching TV, turn that into activity! When the commercial break comes on, do as many push ups and/or squats as you can. The next break, hold a plank for as long as you can. Keep a journal and each week see how much longer you can hold that plank or how many more push ups you can do. You might surprise yourself!
  1. Rockford YMCA Befitteens 2 (Custom)Bring a Friend. Everything is more enjoyable with someone by your side. Some major benefits of having a workout buddy are …
    1. The time will go by quickly. If you have your friend with you, chances are you enjoy each other’s company and time flies when you are having fun. This also might add some friendly competition!
    2. They hold you accountable. If you have someone you are meeting on the bike path for a walk, you are much more likely to get up and go.
    3. Fitness facilities are less intimidating with a friend. Trying a new class or walking into a crowded gym seems much less scary with someone by your side.
    4. You don’t have to go anywhere…have a dance party in your living room!
  1. Join a gym. You will find a ton of activity choices in a facility like the YMCA. Most places have unlimited fitness classes to go to – meaning they are free with your membership. There are usually a lot of different ones to pick from to keep things exciting. You wont get bored too easily. Health clubs usually have swimming pools- swimming laps, water walking, treading water or taking aquatics fitness classes are all great ways to burn fat while having fun! Some gyms have fun fitness challenges. Explore everything the gym has to offer and find out what incentives they offer if you keep track of your progress. Another tip at a gym is to ask if they need any volunteer help. Maybe you can help coach a youth fitness class or basketball clinic. Find out how you can get a free membership to the YMCA.
  1. Get outside. Exercise doesn’t have to happen in a gym. Some of the best workouts I have done have been outside of four walls.
    1. Go to the park. Chances are there are monkey bars. Try to do pull ups or try to get across the bars. It is much harder than when you were 6 years old!
    2. Get a group together and go to the pool. Swimming is a great calorie burner with no harsh impact on your joints.
    3. Play a sport. Basketball, tennis, soccer, football, dodge ball…anything! Those are all fun and get you outside and moving!

As you practice these tips and start moving and exercising more frequently, you will begin to love it. It will become part of your daily routine that you look forward to. With exercise, remember to eat a balanced diet, drink a lot of water and get enough sleep. Before you know it you will feel better, have more energy and be in much better shape!

This Bfitteens Blog is written by Jenna Huffine, Wellness Coordinator, YMCA of Rock River Valley

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