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Fitness Tips for Teenage Girls

By Chloe Newkirk

Staying fit can pose a few challenges for teenage girls. For one, this phase of life is often packed to the brim with school, homework, jobs and social activities. Finding time for exercise can take some extra planning. Teenagers, male or female, often don't have their own car or driver's license, so exercise moves that can be done close to home are ideal. Last, teenage girls face a number of social and academic pressures that can make exercise feel too challenging. Fortunately, a few key steps can help young women stay healthy and active, even with their busy schedules.

Use your mode of transportation as a way to fit in exercise. Instead of hopping on a bus to get to school, try riding your bike or walking. Cycling and fast walking can be great aerobic exercises, and teenage girls should be getting at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. Make sure to be safe when engaging in these activities. Only walk or cycle in safe, well-lit and well-populated areas. Make sure your parents or friends know your route.

Add strength training moves to your routine. If you don't have access to a gym or equipment, you can still tighten and tone muscles from the comfort of your own bedroom. Do moves that use your own body for resistance, such as squats, pushups or crunches. If you have small dumbbells, do arm curls while you study or talk on the phone. A heavy textbook can also work as a weight. For each move, do one to three sets of 10 reps, making sure to rest between sets.

Relieve stress. Being a teenage girl is full of pressure. Fitness can be an excellent way to release tension in your mind and body. In addition to your cardio portion, consider a calming exercise such as yoga or pilates. Yoga moves can be found for free online or through a DVD at a local library. Set up your room with a yoga mat or a bath towel, and follow along. Yoga or Pilates will help you maintain fitness and build flexibility, all while you work away stress.

Tips

Add to your workout routine slowly to prevent injury or overextension. Try to work in a few moves while you watch TV or in 15-minute study breaks. Play your favorite music to make workouts more fun. See if your school offers any organized fitness activities you might enjoy.

Warnings

With any exercise routine, check with your doctor or parents before beginning.

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