Your body will develop and transform during adolescence. Staying in good physical shape and developing healthy eating and exercise habits is important during this time in your life. If you want to increase your level of fitness, start by adopting a healthy diet. Try to spend less time lounging or watching TV, and be active for at least an hour a day. If you want to take your fitness more seriously as a teenager, you can even join a gym or develop a home workout program.
Method 1 of 3: Improve your diet
Step 1. Focus on healthy, balanced foods
The first (and most important) step to staying fit as a teenager is proper nutrition. Avoid unhealthy meals, like most processed foods and take out foods. Choose a diet rich in dairy products and proteins to help you grow taller. It can be milk, yogurt, chicken, beef, fish, beans or tofu.
If you still live with your parents (like most teens), ask them to help you with your diet. Ask them to buy healthy snacks and serve whole, unprocessed foods for meals
Step 2. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits should be an important part of your daily diet. Try to eat 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day. For example, you can have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a handful of berries for breakfast, a small salad and an apple for lunch, and a serving of cooked vegetables for dinner.
Fruits and vegetables provide healthy sugars (much better than the added sugars in many processed foods) and essential fiber for your body
Step 3. Eat foods that contain calcium and iron
These 2 minerals are essential for the growth of the body of adolescents. Aim for at least 1300 mg of calcium per day, which means drinking plenty of milk and eating dairy products, including hard cheeses and yogurt.
- Iron is especially important for young women. It is present in many foods such as beans, nuts, beef, pork, poultry, and eggs.
- If you're trying to reduce your sugar intake, you can include whole milk instead of skim milk or 1% milk, as whole milk has less sugar than the low-fat versions.
Step 4. Focus on vitamins, minerals and fiber
It is important for adolescents to get vitamins from their diet. Vitamins promote healthy growth and are valuable building blocks for overall fitness. Fiber keeps your digestive tract healthy and helps you feel full because fibrous foods take up space in your stomach and slowly break down. Fiber is found in foods like celery and beans.
- You will find vitamin A in eggs, dairy products and leafy green vegetables. B vitamins are found in meats and fish while vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, berries and tomatoes.
- Healthy minerals are found in foods like broccoli, potatoes and citrus fruits (for potassium), red meat, chicken and seafood (for zinc and phosphorus) and whole grains as well as nuts (for magnesium).
- In addition to the essential vitamins you find in the food you eat, you can also take a multivitamin tablet every day. It will complement your diet and help you get the nutrients you need.
Step 5. Hydrate yourself by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluid per day
Your body needs a lot of water and other fluids to function well. This is especially true if you increase your level of daily activities or if you start an exercise program. Stay hydrated by drinking water, juices, tea, and other healthy options. Avoid carbonated drinks and energy drinks.
Step 6. Eat healthy snacks between meals
Adolescence is the time of your life when you grow the most, so when your stomach starts to growl, don't rush for a slice of cake or a packet of crisps. Instead, try healthy snacks like yogurt, fruit, or smoothies.
Don't worry if you are often hungry. Getting more exercise and physical activity increases appetite
Method 2 of 3: Stay active every day
Step 1. Be active for at least an hour a day
An hour of daily activity will help you get fitter and reduce the negative effects of a slow-motion lifestyle. You don't have to go to a gym or play a sport to be active. Try walking or cycling to a friend's house instead of driving, or go to the neighborhood pool for a swim after school.
Doing more daily activities has various health benefits. One hour of daily activity most days of the week can reduce stress, recharge your energy, and lower your risk of certain illnesses
Step 2. Engage in a sport or extracurricular activity
Group sports and physical activity are great ways to increase daily exercise levels and stay fit as a teenager. If you like sports, try joining the indoor sports teams at your college or high school. You can also look for a sports club that you can join after school, such as a swim team.
The activity you choose does not necessarily have to be a conventional team sport like football or basketball. If you're interested, you can try other activities like gymnastics, horseback riding, skateboarding or karate
Step 3. Sign up for a gym or exercise class
These options will help you stay active and may even help transform your body by providing you with regular exercise as well as time of activity in a social and fun setting. Check with local gyms that have popular afternoon or evening exercise classes so you can attend after school.
If you're not interested in more traditional gym or exercise classes, look for other types of group physical activity, like Zumba or Pilates and martial arts
Step 4. Go to school on foot or by bicycle
If you live close enough to your school that you can walk or bike safely there in a reasonable amount of time (say, less than 30 minutes), try to factor this into your weekly routines. A 30-minute walk to school will cover half of your daily activity time and allow you to improve your health by increasing your heart rate and working your leg muscles.
If you have a part-time job after school or on the weekends, you can also walk or cycle there
Step 5. Take a short walk during school breaks
If you have a 15-minute break or a 45-minute lunch break during your day at school, take the opportunity to take a short walk. This will help you improve your physical condition and your activity level. Or, if there are stairs in your school, go up and down them several times. In the evening, do the same during homework time. Take 1 or 2 15-minute breaks and spend that time walking, skipping, or jogging.
Don't wait until you have hours of free time to start being active
Step 6. Limit your screen time to 2 hours per day
Many teens spend hours a day watching TV or movies and playing video games. These activities interfere with physical fitness and can lead to weight gain. Limit your screen time to 2 hours (or less) per day, which will give you more time for physical activities.
You can even include activities in your screen time. If your parents have an elliptical exerciser, you can walk on it while watching a movie. Or, try splitting during commercial breaks for your favorite show
Method 3 of 3: Develop an exercise routine
Step 1. Begin a home exercise routine
Consider the possibility of establishing a basic routine to improve your physical condition. Whether or not you have access to a gym, you can start with the basics at home: push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and whether you have access to dumbbells, thigh curls, bicep curls and bench presses.
If you're not sure where to start (what exercises to include in your routine, what load to lift, etc.), talk to your gym trainer or search online for strength training recommendations for teens
Step 2. Warm up and cool down before and after exercise
Before each workout, begin with about 10 minutes of light stretching. Warming up reduces the risk of injury and maximizes the amount of calories burned throughout the exercise.
- Likewise, if you take the time to gradually reduce the intensity of your exercise with cooling stretches, you will feel less tired when you are finished.
- Over time, if you find that you like to run, consider joining a cross-country running team.
Step 3. Exercise with a friend
Find a friend who also wants to be active during the week, and exercise with them. You can also ask your family members (siblings, cousins, cousins, and even parents) if they would like to exercise with you. It will be easier for you to stay motivated to be in good shape if you have a friend or family member who is up for exercise and can provide moral support.
Having a friend to support you will make it easier to stick to your exercise routine
- Be creative and enjoy the types of activities you do every day. Try Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, swimming, horseback riding, water polo, dancing or hit a gym!
- Listen to music. Not only will it strengthen your confidence, but it will also keep you motivated.
- If any of your exercises are particularly painful, stop doing it. If you experience severe pain after exercising, or pain that is disproportionate to the amount of exercise you do, tell your doctor about the problem.
- Avoid skipping meals and never deliberately starve yourself. While it can be tempting to cut as many calories as possible from your diet all at once, it's not healthy for your body.
- If you think you are performing an exercise incorrectly, talk to your trainer or check out an online tutorial to see how it is performed correctly.
- To stay fit and healthy as a teenager, you should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol before the legal age. Smoking in particular is harmful to health and alcohol can also have negative effects on health.