Catherine Bellis is a professional American tennis player. She made quite the statement during summer's U.S. World Open in 2014. At only 15, she was not only the youngest player competing at the tournament, but she was also the youngest to win a match—something that hasn't happened since 1996. She was named the best junior tennis player in the world which was an outstanding achievement. She was just one of the many teens who knew the importance of exercise and fitness.
Harvard experts did research and concluded that 1 in 10 teens get enough exercise. Here are the two main reasons for teens to exercise:
Exercise is vital for physical and as well as mental and psychological well being.
When we exercise, our body tends to release a chemical which makes the person feel good about themselves. It is called serotonin which is also known as the feel-good chemical. It also helps people who are suffering from mild depression and low esteem and make them sleep better. When people feel good about themselves, they tend to get more confident, which is also a plus point. It helps them a lot in their social life and makes it easier for them to play team sports. Exercising helps people get a sense of achievement after completing their goal and becoming more competitive. E.g. Beating an old time in the 100-meter dash.
Exercising lowers the risk of a few diseases.
Exercising regularly lowers the chances of getting some diseases. This is possible as when we exercise, our heart gets more durable and prevents us from the conditions by working harder and pumping more oxygen. These include diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases (CHD), depression and high blood pressure. It also helps to relieve stress and increase self-esteem.
When we talk about being fit and exercising regularly, there are three main components of fitness which are:
Aerobic exercise is physical exercise of low to high-intensity movements that require our muscles to use oxygen. Oxygen is used as the primary fuel source. As a result of exercising aerobically, this can help you burn fat and improve your cardiovascular system. Aerobic exercises are performed in short, fast bursts where the heart cannot supply enough oxygen to the muscles.
If we play team sports, we tend to do at least 60 minutes of rigorous exercise 3-5 times a week. Great examples of Aerobic exercise are soccer, football, and rugby. All three of these sports require physical activity from a low to high intensity.
But we don’t have to play on sports teams to do some aerobic exercises. Other sports include biking, running, swimming, dancing, in-line skating, tennis, cross-country skiing, hiking, and walking quickly.
Strength training is the ability to exert force, such as when we lift the weight. It is crucial in sports that exert great power. Eg- a scrum in rugby. Increasing the strength of the muscles can also prevent injuries. Muscles also use more energy than fat does, so building your muscles will help you burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Strength training can also be done without lifting weights. Here are a few examples:
Arms- rowing, cross-country and skiing. Pull-ups and push-ups are very essential for bicep and tricep strength.
Legs- running, biking, rowing, or skating. Squats and leg raise are essential.
For Abdominal and core strength- Planks and crunches are the classic exercises. But rowing, yoga and pilates are also excellent means of getting stronger abdominal muscles.
Flexibility is the range of motion of our joints. Flexibility is an essential aspect of fitness which is often overlooked by many athletes. It is vital in all sorts of activities.
If we are not flexible, we will have less range of movement and our joints get stiff.
Flexibility is crucial in some sports such as gymnastics, diving and ballet.
Flexibility is also crucial in sports like badminton as it helps us to stretch and move quickly.
Also if you are flexible, you are less likely to get injured.
Activities like yoga can help us to improve our flexibility.
On the one hand, having an active physical lifestyle has many benefits, we also have to look at the opposite. A sedentary lifestyle is when an individual such as a teen doesn’t exercise or do any physical activity.
A sedentary lifestyle is caused by/result of:
Overweight, overfat, obese, depression etc that are caused by lack or irregular physical activity. The more physical activities we do, the chance of these diseases decreases.
Consequences of a sedentary lifestyle:
Overweight- Having more weight than the weight that is considered to be healthy, however, muscles are heavy and having more muscle mass isn't a problem
Obesity- extremely overweight, increase the possibility of cardiovascular disease
Overfat- High proportion of having a fat base of the ratio of the body. This is only beneficial to the sumo wrestlers.
Depression- Sedentary lifestyle might cause depression meaning feeling sad and being less motivative.
CHD- Coronary Heart Disease- Fewer calories buried →Cholesterol builds up clogging arteries →high blood pressure and narrow lumen
Diabetes- Type 1 → pancreas doesn't produce insulin (Mostly genetic)
Type 2→ Pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't react with insulin - highly linked with lifestyle.
Osteoporosis - Bones becomes brittle and fragile. → less dense.