Fitness Alternatives for Teens
Not all teens want to be the stereotypical couch potato playing video games or cruising Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all waking hours. Not all fitness-minded teens want to become gym rats and jocks either. Often, your choices seem limited to one or the other, though. So, what’s a guy or gal to do that’s in between the two extremes? Here’s some ideas that just might fit the bill.
- Cheerleading – Now admittedly, you have to have some skills if you want to make the squad. However, cheering is a way to get in some really good fitness and athletic training. What with all the practice and performing, there’s no time to be a lazy lay about. Your cheerleading apparel is going to demand a toned body, as the shirts and cheer shorts place a great deal of Y-O-U on public display. One good thing about cheering as a form of staying fit is that your wardrobe is at least appropriate for the activity. Most squads require cheerleading shoes and socks that fit well, and eliminate the risk of foot, ankle, and knee injury.
- Dance – While cheerleading may require some skill and talent, and may not be for everyone, dance is a little more forgiving. There are also many styles of dance to choose from, from ballet to jazz to tap to hip hop to ballroom. Don’t forget about traditional forms of folk or cultural dancing, as well, when making your decision. While it may seem more appropriate for an Irish-American to learn step-dancing, don’t let the fact that your last name is Delmonica or Musckovich stop you if that’s where your passion lies!
- Yoga – Yoga may seem like such a weird thing to do if you’re a North American teen, but it definitely should be on your radar if you are health and fitness conscious. The gentle stretching of yoga, combined with the opportunities for quiet reflection and deep breathing can help erase the stress and tension of high school with all its associated drama and demands. Imagine a time where you can not only reenergize your body, but also your mind. That’s yoga in a nutshell!
- Walking – Perhaps the simplest and easiest and cheapest of all forms of fitness is walking. You can do it anywhere, at almost anytime. Provided you have two good legs, the feet to go with them, and some decent supportive shoes, (no flip-flops for walking, please!) you’re all set to go. Walking can also be beneficial to your mental health, as a nice solitary walk can give you time to think. Or you can make it a social occasion by finding a walking buddy to share your trails.
- Barefoot running – This is perhaps the oldest, and yet newest, fitness trend. And since you need nothing but two good feet and the strong legs attached to them, it could be even easier to start doing than walking. You simply run barefoot. It has been noted that people strike differently when running without shoes. This difference is believed to prevent many of the injuries associated with traditional shoe running. Minimalist shoes–anything from the good old canvas sannies we wore as kids to new high-tech models with a place for each toe offer barefoot runners a bit of protection from hot asphalt and dangerous gravel while still allowing the foot’s more natural strike.
So, there you have it. Now, get off the couch, put down the chips and go move your body!