3 Reasons Cardio is Good for Teens

Fight the sedentary lifestyle and get your teen moving. Learn more about why cardiovascular exercise is so important for teenagers.

With video games, cell phones, TV, social networking, and internet browsing, it is no wonder American teens are not very active. According to the Let's Move initiative, kids age 8 to 18 years spend on average 7.5 hours per day using entertainment media. 

Experts recommend teens participate in 60 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. Cardiovascular exercise describes any physical activity that increases the heart rate. Examples include:

  • Aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Brisk walking
  • Sports like basketball and tennis
  • Biking

Let's review a few reasons why cardio exercise is important for your teenagers.

It fights off disease.

The battle against childhood obesity is ongoing. By getting your kids involved in exercise, you are doing your part. Helping your teen maintain a healthy weight through cardiovascular exercise decreases their risk of developing:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis

It improves mental health.

Participating in exercise on a regular basis fights off depression. Additionally, exercise can increase self-confidence, reduce anxiety, and improve overall psychological well-being.

It can raise your grades.

Teens who exercise regularly sleep better, are more attentive, and have improved concentration. The end result is better performance in the classroom.

Now that you know the benefits of cardio for teenagers, here's a few ideas to help you work aerobic exercise in your family's schedule:

  • Take a brisk walk as a family after dinner
  • Sign your kids up for sports they enjoy
  • Have sports equipment like basketballs, jump ropes, and Frisbees available
  • Play children's games like tag
  • Dance your way to a cardio workout

For more fun fitness ideas, visit the Let's Move website. To have your health questions answered or for a free physician referral, call the Medical Center of McKinney's physician referral line at 855-296-6265.

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