08 July, 2011
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The teenage years represent a time when your teenage boy becomes more concerned about his appearance and body. Adopting an exercise routine can improve his overall health and appearance. Ensuring he is educated in the proper methods of exercise and injury prevention can set the stage for a lifetime devoted to health and fitness.
A teenage boys’ exercise routine should consist of three components: aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aerobic training can include walking, running or playing a sport, such as football or basketball. These exercises should be performed 60 minutes each day. Muscle-strengthening exercises such as lifting weights should be performed three times per week and can be included in the 60-minute allotment. Bone-strengthening exercises that involve impact -- striking the foot on the ground -- help teenage boys who may be experiencing a growth spurt maintain healthy bones.
The teenage years are often when boys begin to lift weights to build muscle. Increasing amounts of testosterone produced during puberty allow them to gain muscle mass. Ensuring your teen has a good knowledge of weightlifting ensures your teen can prevent injuries. If your teen has access to a high school or local gym, he might use weight machines, which are designed to isolate a specific muscle, according to Kids Health. Free weights allow a teen to work different muscle groups at the same time. Seeking advice from a fitness trainer or coach who is aware of teens’ fitness needs can help your teen identify the right exercises for his fitness level.
Teenage boys do not have to strength-train solely at the gym. They can perform resistance exercises to boost muscle strength, such as push-ups, crunches and tricep dips. Simple equipment such as a jump rope also provides a bone-strengthening and cardiovascular exercise.
While most teenage boys have significant energy levels, emphasize rest as a means to allow the muscles worked to recover, according to MayoClinic.com. Space a day between weightlifting sessions and alternate aerobic activities to prevent injury. This can be advantageous for teenage boys, where boredom can be a factor in refraining from exercising.
Although strength-training is beneficial for teen boys, be aware that male teens can develop a disorder known as muscle dysmorphia, where they become obsessive about weight-training, according to MassGeneral Hospital for Children. If your teen seems to be overly preoccupied with weightlifting, seems to have a distorted view of his body or uses illegal substances such as steroids to boost muscle, seek medical counseling.
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