There are no such teenagers who have to be full. There are diseases with which excess weight is gained faster, and there are a number of genes that “help” the body accumulate fatty tissue faster. However, scientists argue that the roots of family obesity are not at all in the genes, but in the wrong lifestyle that the child learns from adults. And before sports, genes give in: a study by European scientists showed that even with genetically determined obesity, 60 minutes of sports a day help teenagers return to a normal body mass index.
However, not every adult can train for an hour a day, let alone children. Especially if the teenager is already not particularly active physically or is shy of his body. This is where parents are most needed. It is you who can help your child train for an hour a day. The goal is to start small and provide role models and support on the difficult path to a healthy weight. MedAboutMe has 5 tips to help your teen start exercising and stay motivated.
Children (and adults) who are not accustomed to physical activity are able to endure a fairly small load - the moment when you want to quit everything and relax comes very quickly. So start small, like taking a ten-minute walk after class. Even if such activity seems serious, walk every other day.
Every day add one minute to the duration of the walk. But (important!) do not do it fraudulently, tell the child how much you walked today and let him track his progress himself.
Breaking down one goal into many smaller ones helps everyone: the “eat the elephant piece by piece” tactic is also used in business processes. Children need it too: understanding that minutes will eventually turn into an hour increases the motivation to study.
You can also negotiate rewards for a certain number of minutes of training.
Even such small achievements and successes build self-confidence and encourage you to make training a part of your daily schedule. Praise for accomplishing tasks, encourage the desire to be healthier.
More recently, scientists at the University of Kentucky found that screen time alone does not lead to obesity (and before that, a study was published that monitors do not contribute to the development of myopia). But both of these conclusions work only in one case: if the child is not only sitting at the screen. So, if you combine games on the tablet with sports, it is clear that you will not gain excess weight.
About the myth about the effect of monitors on vision and why children actually need glasses more often, read the article "Three Common Myths About Children's Health: Check Yourself!" ".
However, all the time that the child spends at the TV or computer is the time of inactivity. Pediatric experts advise limiting screen time to two hours a day, so you can and should set rules for using devices in the home (remember to set a good example and put your phone away when you eat or talk).
And if you watch TV together, try the following:
- Breaks: It’s good if there are commercial breaks in which you can warm up, raise your legs or do push-ups from the wall.
- Even if the child does not want to repeat after you, he will notice what exactly you are doing and, perhaps, will begin to do the same when you are not around. So don't stop.
- Keep small sports equipment near the screen - light dumbbells, balls and "bagels" for squeezing in your hands and use them while watching.
This fitness-oriented TV viewing can motivate kids (and benefits adults).
The best training program is not one that promises great results, but one that a person will actually perform. So think about what might motivate a child to be physically active other than the thought of health and weight loss. And get creative.
Does your teen love the outdoors or are they interested in animals? Get a dog and sign him up for classes with the owner on the playground, choose walks in different parks, look at weekend group hiking programs, find bird watching groups or courses at the zoo. Love for anime or action movies, movies about dancing or performances - all this can and should be used to lift a teenager from a chair.
Any step away from the bed has a health impact. This should also include chores around the house and outside of it: plan joint cleaning, involve the child in shopping trips, caring for the local area, a volunteer clean-up in the park - any activity where you need to do more than just sit.
If a teenager enjoys watching competitions or films about any sport, they may also secretly like to start playing it, but do not know how to do it. It is useful for overweight teenagers to join sports teams that are formed not by age, but by the skills of the participants.
Another option is to find a coach who will include the child in a team of adult beginners to reduce the likelihood of ridicule from peers. Such groups are usually created for amateurs. Bonus: You can go to training together and set an additional good example.
If team and competitive sports are not to your liking, encourage running, cycling, dancing, skateboarding - any sport and any level of activity is better than none.
An American Academy of Pediatrics study shows that strength training three times a week significantly reduces body fat and increases muscle mass and endurance in obese adolescents.
The fitness center is definitely a great option. However, it is this option that often confuses overweight or untrained teenagers. The good news is that strength training doesn't require a lot of machines. Push-ups, crunches, weight lifting, and resistance band exercises can all be done at home.
Just be sure to discuss these activities with your doctor first. How you can organize such classes at home, read the article "Strength fitness training at home".