Seven Surprising Benefits of Exercise in Young People

free-hand exercise

When adults exercise, their routine is generally regimented. They work out in the gym with various equipment. Younger people on the other hand have a different take on exercise. For them it means being physically active through playing. They can play tag, ride bikes, play soccer, and join a dance or gym class. When encouraged to be active and enjoy the outdoors, children build endurance, flexibility and strength.

Parents are now told to monitor the body mass index or height to weight ratio of their children because of the growing threat of childhood obesity among children ages 6 to 19. Physical activity will help children lose weight or from becoming obese, as well as start them with healthy habits. Doctors and fitness experts have touted the many benefits that exercising gives to younger people. Here are some of them.

1. Keep weight down

Walking 4 miles each day for 4x a week will burn 1,600 calories or 1/2 pound each week. Without a diet change, walking the same distance for 6 months will help you shed off 12 pounds. Teens can easily include walking into their daily routine like walking on the treadmill for 1 mile before going to school and before dinner, or walking around the track one mile during lunch period and walking the dog another mile after school.

2. Relieve stress

Regular exercise reduces stress hormones. Your face will show reduced muscle tension. Exercise also lowers blood pressure, relaxes the blood vessels and slows the heart rate. It also helps you to think better and quicker.

3. Burn calories

Exercise makes muscles grow stronger and stronger muscles burn off more calories. Muscle mass is active tissue and the more muscle mass a person has, the more calories will be burned, even if the person (male) fails to exercise in a day. This is because males have more muscle mass so they can lose weight faster, while girls have to exercise daily to burn more calories. The youth can strengthen their muscles when they wrestle, do handstands, climb or do pull-ups, stomach crunches and push-ups.

4. Increases immunity

Moderate exercise gives your immune system a big boost to help reduce your chances of getting easily affected by the flu, colds and several viruses. Vary your exercise routine so you are not exercising too much each day to give your body time to rest, improve your immune system and prevent you from having muscle and joint pain.

play football

5. Stronger bones

Moderate, regular exercise keeps bones stronger, especially if you do weight-bearing exercises like dancing, jogging, running and walking. Strengthening or resistance exercises are also recommended to keep muscles strong and improve bone mass.

6. Improve complexion

Circulation and nutrient delivery to the skin improves with exercise, which has a detoxifying effect on the body. With exercise, oxygen delivery to the skin also improves. This boosts the production of collagen, making your skin glow. This is especially true when the youth does aerobic exercises such as basketball, swimming, walking, running, jogging, soccer, bicycling or basketball.

7. Enhance mood

The level of endorphins in the brain increases with exercise. The hormone is related with positive, happy feeling. With a higher endorphin level, the symptoms of moderate depression are reduced. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain gets a boost through exercise. This helps you keep calm.

Youth exercise can be a combination of stretching or range-of-motion exercises, conditioning or endurance exercises and strengthening exercises. The first one could be tai chi, yoga or dance. Swimming, aerobics, climbing the stairs, biking and walking are conditioning exercises.

Use free (handheld) weights, resistance bands or machines, wrist and ankle weights during strengthening exercise to make your muscles stronger. Also, drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to replenish the liquid you lost through sweat.

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