The NHS recommends to teenagers an hour of physical activity every day to stay healthy.
Sadly, there are people who do not like sports. However, when I hear a teenager “I do not like sports”, I’m always tempted to reply, you haven´t had time to try them all. Besides the most popular, there are plenty, beneficial to growth, sports. Pick something that you find interesting, if you hate running, don’t run.
My dear teenager, exercising is good for you because keeps your body at a healthy weight, keeps your bones strong and your joints healthy, helps you sleep better, produces endorphins that make you feel happy, and reduces stress. If these are not reasons enough, you can have fun and make friends!
The recommended exercise routine consists of three components: aerobics, strength training, and flexibility. Why? Aerobic exercises quicken your heart rate and breathing and are good for your heart. Strengthening your muscles allow you to be able to increase your endurance. A flexible person has a lower chance of getting sprains and strained muscles.
Sports are a great source of aerobic exercise. A soccer player may have great cardiovascular endurance, but he probably will have very little muscular power, especially in the upper body. The physical benefits of a sport usually depend entirely on characteristics of the sport itself.
A proper strength training program will fix this imbalance, focusing on those areas not involved in a particular sport. Also, it will improve your sports performance, enhancing your weak points. 2-3 short sessions on days off your team training will make a huge difference.
Last, but probably most important, take the time to stretch, every day. Staying injury-free throughout the sports season requires a proper stretching routine. Stretching before athletic activity helps prepare the muscles for exercise. Stretching after exercise has proven to be important for preventing injury. Let me tell you 4 tips on stretching:
- Avoid any bouncing or bobbing while doing a stretch.
- Do not to push yourself too much. To be more specific, always avoid trying to stretch if it feels uncomfortable.
- Keep your body relaxed and stretch both sides equally, so that you can improve your overall flexibility and range of motion.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you´re not sure how to do something, ask.
Stay active and have fun!