How to Get Your Teen Moving More

The teen years are a critical time for being active, as they can be a turning point for establishing healthy habits that last into adulthood. Aim for a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day for your teen, and follow these tips for ideas and variety!

Make it enjoyable. Help your teen figure out what he or she likes. If they don't enjoy team sports, encourage other activities. Skateboarding? Dance? Martial Arts? There are generally lots of options to choose from.

Limit screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 2 hours per day of screen time. Avoid having televisions in bedrooms, and encourage activity during commercial breaks.

Be a role model. Your teen may not be motivated to be active if you don't do the same. Be a role model for them — if they see you going out for a walk after dinner or getting outside on a nice day they are more likely to follow in your footsteps.

Make sure your teen has the opportunity to be active after school or during the summer. If your teen isn't involved with organized sports, try helping him explore other opportunities for being active in his down time. See what your local YMCA or recreation center has to offer, check out local parks together, and encourage a summer job--like a camp counselor-- that allows for activity.

Emphasize it's not what they do, but simply regular activity that's important. Remember and communicate that any activity away from sitting is beneficial.

Generally once they get started, teens enjoy the feeling of reduced stress, increased energy, and enhanced well-being.