Four reasons our young people need exercise

July 17, 2013 

According the International Health and Racquet Sports Association, four recent studies highlight the importance of exercise on kids and teens. Even small amounts of exercise boost self-esteem in teens. Just minutes of stationary cycling improved an array of psychological effects for obese teens in a study from the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Self-esteem, scholastic abilities, body image and social competence all improved for the over-weight adolescents with a minimal amount of exercise. In this case, more is really better.

Also, aerobic exercise cuts diabetes risk in children. Only 20 minutes a day helps improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This information is based on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Study results that appeared in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine claims that vigorous exercise boosts kids’ overall health. The adolescents, some obese, did more than seven minutes of intense exercise daily and improved waist size, blood pressure, body mass and other health measures. The kids averaged 12 years of age. Keep kids healthy with activities that make exercise fun and exciting.

There is a strong link between exercise and academic success. Working out helps blood flow to the brain, elevates feelings of well-being, and helps develop discipline in other areas of your life. All of these likely contribute to an increase in intelligence according to the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The takeaway from these studies is that parents should throw away the scales when helping their children, overweight or not, improve themselves physically and mentally and get the entire family moving toward a healthier lifestyle.

In addition to the youth, the American Psychological Association, claims the millennials, those aged 18-33 years old, suffer the highest levels of stress in the nation. In a study measuring stress, the millennial generation scored a 5.4 (on a scale of 1 to 10), compared to the national average of 4.9. The main worry bothering the young Americans is concern for jobs and money.

Did you know that there are approximately 1,500 fitness-related apps on iTunes alone? In 2011, 10 percent of smartphone users downloaded at least one of them according to a Pew Research Center Internet survey. Don’t have a smartphone or prefer the old fashion way of exercise? No problem, chose your preferred way to get regular exercise, meditation and even some nutritional changes can help alleviate stress. If you are experiencing severe stress or depression, talk to your doctor about other ways to deal with life’s building pressures.

Judy Schmoeger, a longtime resident of Lee’s Summit, is owner and general manager of Anytime Fitness.

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