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Exercise Programs for Children Ages 12 to 14

By Erin Zeggert

Starting an exercise program at a young age will help build healthy habits that carry on into adulthood. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends 60 minutes of activity per day for children ages six to 17. A well-rounded exercise program for 12 to 14 year olds will include aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

Crossfit Kids

CrossFit Kids is designed for children under 18. Workouts include strength and aerobic activities. There is a different workout each day, which helps prevent boredom. The goal of CrossFit is to build overall health and fitness. If there is no CrossFit Kids program in your area you can view the workout of the day on their website and watch exercise demonstrations to help your child at home. Workouts are scaled based on ability.

YMCA Teen Programs

YMCAs across the country have teen centers and exercise programs designed for teens. Programs cover strength training, aerobic fitness, group classes and sports. All exercise programs are age appropriate and designed for children ages eight to 18. These programs can vary from location to location.

Programs at Your Local Hospital

Children’s hospitals often have exercise programs designed for teens. For example, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has a TEENS weight management program that includes a medical evaluation, exercise program and nutrition program. It is facilitated by physicians, psychologists, nutritionists and exercise medicine specialists. Check your local hospital for similar programs.

Team Sports

Let’s Move is a government sponsored program designed to increase physical activity. The Active Schools program provides schools with grants and assistance from certified professionals to improve physical education, provide physical activity during school, provide physical activity before and after school, increase family and community involvement and increase staff involvement. Active School programs meet the 60-minute physical activity recommendation.

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