Exercise is essential to the human body and offers numerous physical and mental benefits. Physically, exercise keeps the body toned and healthy, preventing diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. Mentally, exercise helps prevent anxiety, sleeping problems and stress, and it can improve your self-esteem. Starting early with good fitness habits will help you maintain your health in adulthood. Starting an exercise routine as a 14-year-old girl is the best time to get your body on the right track. According to girlshealth.gov, "Children and teens who are overweight are more likely to become overweight adults." Beginning healthy habits in your teen years will help you in the future.
The hardest part about starting an exercise plan for most 14-year-old girls is finding the motivation; many girls start giving excuses of why they cannot work out. Motivate yourself by remembering the numerous benefits of exercise to your body. Another great way to stay on track is to create a fitness plan. Follow the plan you set for yourself and stick to it. You can also find motivation by working out with friends or a family member.
There are three main exercise types -- aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening. You should get aerobic exercise three times a week for at least 60 minutes. Examples of aerobic exercises include running, jogging, swimming, dancing and jumping rope. Muscle-strengthening should be done three times a week for 30 minutes. Examples of muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, yoga and rock climbing. Bone-strengthening exercises should be done three times a week for 30 minutes. Examples of exercises to strengthen the bones are running, playing basketball and tennis.
Another great way to get the physical activity you need is by participating in sports. There is a sport out there for every 14-year-old girl, whether you like tennis, basketball, swimming, ice skating or gymnastics. Sports also help you meet new friends. According to research by girlshealth.gov, "Girls who participate in sports have higher self-esteem and less depression." Playing sports is also a great way to stay active without getting bored.
Track Your Success and Keep Motivated
One excuse teen girls have for not working out is that it is boring. There are so many different types of exercises out there, you should never become bored. Some great physical activities that you can enjoy while working out include: kickboxing, snowboarding, skateboarding, biking, surfing, dancing, kayaking, pilates, yoga, T'ai Chi, rock climbing and other fitness classes. Tracking your success can help you stay motivated. Seeing your body become healthier and more toned keeps you on the exercise path. You can create your own chart, or check out girlshealth.gov for a generic fitness planner.