Providing Your Teen With A Lifetime Of Healthy Choices

Fighting off depression and anxiety is a challenge for many people. In fact, according to the World Health Organization statistics, depression affects over 4% of the population, with over 14% of adolescents struggling with some aspect of mental health. 

Anxiety and depression can stem from various social, psychological, and biological factors and can be triggered by life events. Often a trauma such as a tragic death of a loved one, loss of a job, or trauma can be the catalyst for the onset of depression. 

Many people utilize treatment centers as options. In some cases, people even resort to inpatient centers for substance abuse recovery in San Jose, Costa Rica, or find treatment options in and around San Francisco, for example, though those resources are used in the more extreme cases. 

There are inpatient treatment centers nearby as well, just type in “substance abuse treatment options near me” into your search bar and get a list of centers close to your home. 

In those more severe cases where treatment centers are necessary, finding the appropriate treatment options for you should include a little research on the credentials of the center and if they provide the treatment options best suited to your needs. 

Researchers know there is an excellent correlation between depression and deteriorating physical health. The better physically fit a person is through exercise, the less often depression and anxiety are attributed to that individual, and they generally have fewer symptoms. 

Additionally, exercise provides a multitude of physical health benefits that include:

  • Improved cardiovascular system
  • More efficient respiratory system
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Appetite control, weight management
  • Aids with digestion
  • Bolstered Immune System
  • Enhanced moods
  • Better cognitive function

In light of these benefits and more, developing an active lifestyle is crucial to overall physical and mental health. 

Exercise provides a significant boost in moods as the body is flooded with mood-enhancing powerful neurochemicals known as endorphins, the primary one being dopamine, the hormone that stimulates the “happy” part of our brains. 

Difference Between Activity And Exercise

There is a primary distinction between activity and exercise. 

Activity: Activity is defined as anything that stretches and stresses the skeletal-muscular system and requires energy output. It can range from walking and hiking to cleaning the house. 

Exercise: On the other hand, exercise is a planned and structured movement designed to be repetitive to improve and maintain physical fitness.  

How Much Is Enough?

In general, research shows that 30-minutes of activity and exercise 3-5 days a week is the ideal, but even 15-minutes a day of vigorous activity every other day may offer significant benefits. 

The mental health benefits may only extend if exercise is a habit that is for the long term, so developing an active lifestyle is crucial to your physical and psychological well-being. Ideally, you would model the type of behavior you want your teen to adopt, such as to become more active; you’d exhibit those traits yourself. 

How To Motivate Your Teen To Exercise

If exercise provides so many benefits, why is it an area that so many people ignore? 

Because people see exercise as rigorous and tedious, much like chores, and the key to developing an active lifestyle is to shift the perspective surrounding exercise from boring to enjoyable. 

Make It Interactive: Make your activity and exercise fun and interactive. Working out for the sake of exercise is boring, hard to stay motivated, and people can quickly lose interest. There’s a reason that spin classes and adult sports leagues are so popular because they make working out fun and social. 

What’s more, doing something interactive provides a form of accountability, that when interest is low, your teen has extrinsic, or outward, motivation to continue. 

Do What You Enjoy: Motivation will wane regardless of the type of exercise and activity, but it will wane less and slower if the activity is something your teen enjoys. Finding an active hobby that increases their heart rate simultaneously is a good suggestion. 

For example, walking the dog for 45 minutes daily may be a good outlet that is fun and social for your teen. 

Be Realistic: You set some exercise goals for yourself and your teenager, get started, become too sore the next day to continue, and then quit your program on day two. Instead, think of your fitness and exercise goals as climbing a flight of steep stairs. You must take it one step at a time to get to the top. Your goals should be similar. Set realistic goals that may seem to be minor and slow at the outset. 

Setting realistic, achievable goals also acts as a great motivator that will help you with the motivation to continue with your exercise goals. 

Exercise provides a lifetime of benefits, so teaching your teenager the value of living a healthy, active lifestyle is crucial for their long-term development and health.