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Teen Health

Aerobic Exercise for Teenagers

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Build Your Own Gym at Home

If you like privacy and would rather exercise in the comfort of your own home, set up a personal home gym. Exercising at home allows you to choose the time of day you work out and exercise at your own pace. And all the new home exercise equipment and DVDs that are available make it easier than ever to get fit at home.

Before you spend a fortune on exercise equipment, check out the deals at online auctions or in your newspaper's classified advertisements. Some basics for your gym might include:

  • A yoga mat for stretching
  • Light, handheld weights
  • Exercise bands to use with strengthening exercises
  • Instructional DVDs or videos (aerobics, hip-hop, and Tae Bo)
  • A fitness ball, used by physical therapists for stretching the lower back and doing abdominal work
  • A full-length mirror to make sure your posture is correct during your stretching and other exercises

Aim for 60 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Most Days

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes of physical activity for kids and teens on most -- if not all -- days of the week.

But Avoid Overtraining

While you need regular aerobic exercise to achieve your best health, overtraining increases your chance of injury or even illness. Symptoms might include a high resting heart rate, sleeping difficulties, and exhaustion. If your exercise seems excessive, cut back on the time or the intensity or both. Be kind to your body and give it a chance to recover.

Now, Do It!

Select your favorites from the following aerobic activities and sports. Make a commitment to exercise for 60 minutes on most days of the week. Write down your planned workouts and sports practice times on your calendar. Check off each day as you complete the activity or sport. As the hours spent in aerobic activities start to add up, you will feel stronger and look great.

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