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Teens: Why Exercise?

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

It is no secret that physical fitness and mental health are closely linked. Just as a sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression and anxiety, regular exercise has been shown to boost mood and improve emotional stability. For teens, who are often juggling the demands of school, extracurricular activities, and social lives, maintaining a healthy balance can be difficult. Making time for physical activity can have a drastic impact on mental health. Not only does exercise release endorphins that improve mood, but it also helps to build confidence and reduce stress levels. In addition, studies have shown that regular physical activity can help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. For teens struggling with mental health issues, incorporating fitness into their daily routine can be an incredibly effective way to promote self-care and wellness.

Speaking from personal experience, physical activity can be a fantastic outlet for the overwhelming flood of emotions that teens often face. Before my older brother motivated me to start lifting weights, I was struggling with a myriad of issues. The most glaring included a major absence of confidence and irritability that knew no bounds. I would lash out at people in my life and deliberately put myself in risky situations. Exercising has not only helped me build confidence in all realms of my life, but it has also offered me a sense of stability during a period of maturing that i’m confident many teens struggle with. Just like with anything, however, one must make sure that their relationship with the activity is healthy. It’s true that this normally healthy habit can turn into an unhealthy obsession with body image. Teens have to be smart about how they use this tool, but the benefits it can offer are monumental.

Aside from assisting in the construction of long-term self-confidence and emotional stability, physical activity can provide a much-needed sense of achievement- not just for teens, but people of any age. I would never prescribe physical fitness as a cure-all for mental health issues, but it can certainly be beneficial. Having changed the course of my life for the better, I feel obligated to continue advocating for teens my age to take advantage of such a rewarding habit.

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