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Being a teenager can be rough. This period is typically filled with struggles due to puberty, school pressures, bullying, and popularity contests. And, of course, teens drive their parents crazy with all this incessant drama, so there are endless conflicts and even screaming matches at home.
All of this stress is taking a toll on our teens. According to TeenHelp.com, most teens in the United States have felt some sort of stress, and many are quite stressed out. In fact, it is estimated that around 10 percent of all teens suffer from an anxiety disorder.
There are many ways to help our teens find balance, such as practicing mindfulness, cutting back on caffeine and sugar in their diet, and even getting professional help, but one simple, accessible way is to exercise.
Why Exercise Is Important For Managing Stress and Anxiety
Experts have found a clear link between exercise and stress reduction. Harvard scientists concluded that “Regular aerobic exercise has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.” According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, some studies show that consistent exercise can be just as effective as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Other research shows that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety than those who do not exercise. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.
Here are several ways in which exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety:
Produces Endorphins. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. These chemicals in our brain act as natural painkillers, making us feel better and less stressed. Endorphins are responsible for the natural high we get from a hard workout.
Reduces Stress Hormones. Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones in our body like adrenaline and cortisol, helping us feel calmer.
Minimizes Fatigue. Exercise improves blood flow and our body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. These changes in our brain then reduce fatigue and improve alertness, concentration, and cognitive function. This helps us when we are stressed out because we are depleted and need to return to a more balanced level of energy. When we are stressed, many nerves in our brain and throughout our body are impacted. Scientists conclude, therefore, that if our body feels better, then our mind will also feel better.
Improves Self-Esteem. Behavioral factors also contribute to the emotional benefits of exercise. When we gain strength and begin to see a difference in our body, we feel better about ourselves and become happier and more confident. Feeling better about ourselves shifts our focus to positive thoughts and away from fear and anxiety.
Provides A Fun Distraction. One of the best parts about exercise is that it gives us a time to take a fun break from the stresses in our daily lives. Whether you are jogging to your favorite upbeat music or socializing with friends on the tennis court, your mind is distracted and you can just have a good time.
Encourages Mindfulness. A great bonus of exercise is that it provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a mindful moment. While we work out, we can fully engage in the present moment instead of letting our mind run wild with worries. To get the best result, experts suggest doing rhythmic activities that engage the whole body like running, walking, swimming, dancing, rowing, or climbing. Helpguide.org suggests that “as you move, instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts, focus on the sensations in your limbs and how your breathing complements your movement. If your mind wanders to other thoughts, gently return to focusing on your breathing and movement. If walking or running, for example, focus on each step—the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your breath while moving, and the feeling of the wind against your face.”
How To Make It Easy For Teens To Exercise
Many teenagers think they are too busy to focus on their own health and fitness. When they are busy with school work, a blossoming social life, and extracurricular activities and hobbies, the last thing on their mind is sticking to a set gym schedule or getting to a workout class on time. They just need to realize that they can work out at any time and in any place that is convenient for them if they have the right tools in place.
Aaptiv is the perfect solution for your teen’s workout challenges. This workout app offers thousands of trainer-led, music-driven audio fitness workouts so they can work out when they want, where they want, the way they want. They can choose classes for the treadmill, outdoor running, yoga, strength training, and much more.
Aaptiv stands out because it is the only fitness app that focuses exclusively on audio content. Most fitness companies offer trackers, graphs, and text instructions that tell you what to do but do a poor job of really getting you to do it. Instead, Aaptiv gives you actionable, fun workout classes right in your ear. Whether you need help motivating from a trainer for inspiration, or need to find new ways to workout, Aaptiv has the perfect solution. It’s practically like having your own personal fitness trainer anytime you want!
It is impossible to get bored with Aaptiv’s workouts. There are 15 active trainers who create more than 30 new classes every week to keep your teen motivated. Oh, and they can filter workouts by trainer and genre of music, too. Did I mention that each Aaptiv class is set to sweet tunes? And I’m not talking elevator music; Aaptiv uses top-tier artists like JT and Jay-Z.
Get Your Teen Moving With Aaptiv
If you have a stressed-out teen at home, why not give them a gift that keeps on giving and will make them feel SO much better? They will love everything that Aaptiv offers, and how it will change their lives.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for Aaptiv and download the app.
- Once that’s done, you’ll have access to all of Aaptiv’s trainer-led classes.
- Aaptiv’s filter will help you find the perfect workout based on your type, difficulty, and the amount of time you have to dedicate to your workout.
And, guess what? You will love it, too!