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Resource #38

Ideas to Keep Teens Active

There are plenty of good reasons to keep teens active and plenty of opportunities to help them include physical activity in their day. Use this guide as a starting point to tempt teens, and yourself, to move a little more.

Getting teens to do anything can be a challenge at the best of times. But if there’s one thing we can do to help them stay healthy, mentally and physically, it’s to encourage physical activity.

The Australian Government has guidelines for optimal physical activity levels for children and teens, the two main goals are to:

  1. Get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day and several hours of light physical activity
  2. Limit sedentary time – break up long periods of sitting and limit screen time

This means encouraging and planning for your teens to get up and move throughout the day in lots of different ways, rather than sitting for long periods of time.

 

Ideas for vigorous activity

  • Sports, sports training and active recreation like tennis, dancing and swimming
  • Exercise classes or weights (there plenty of online or at home options)
  • Use equipment like bikes, skateboards, roller blades or treadmills
  • Running and walking
  • Bushwalking, mountain bike riding or rock climbing

Ideas for light physical activity

  • Throw a frisbee, kick the footie, shoot some hoops
  • Walk, skate or ride for transport
  • Walk the dog
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Help with the housework or mow the lawn

Using screen time to be active

  • Use a digital map to plan a weekend walk or ride
  • Plan, practice and then film a dance routine or act out a play
  • Film yourself learning a new skill like juggling or basketball trick shots
  • Online workouts and exercise classes via you tube

Sneaky ways to be active

  • Walk for transport
  • Park or drop them further from the door
  • Encourage walking or riding to school
  • Change their chores to active ones e.g. walk the dog, mow the lawn, wash the car

For more ideas try Better Health Channel, VicHealth  or Raising Children