BY JANET FORBES, BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LIASON, CASSADAGA JOB CORPS ACADEMY
Now that spring has arrived, it is a great time to encourage your teen to be more active and on the move. For general health and wellness, teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical fitness is as important to a teen’s health as eating a balanced diet, access to health care, and caring for them when they are sick.
Some of the benefits of teens being physically active include: • Helping overall mental well-being • Increasing energy and endurance inside and outside the classroom • Improving sleep • Relieving everyday stress and anxiety • Providing a sense of accomplishment • Helping lower the risk of type-2 diabetes • Promoting a better sense of self • Helping boost self confidence • Establishing positive habits that will last throughout teen years and adulthood • Improving leadership and social skills • Teaching good sportsmanship • Helping improve overall health • Promoting self-expression
Tips for parents to help their teens increase their physical activity:
At School • Coach or chaperone a physical activity outside of school. • Participate in “Walk to School” day (www.walktoschool.org). • Encourage teens to participate in school sponsored sports teams. • Advocate for physical education programs throughout junior high and high school.
At Home • Incorporate physical activities into family gatherings and when your teen’s friends come to your home. • Offer teens choices and let them discover their own interests. • Choose activity-oriented gifts such as workout clothes, fitness club memberships, and sporting equipment. • Turn on music to get the family moving while indoors and even to liven up household chores.
On Outings or Trips • Instead of touring in the car, explore different sights on foot or on bikes. • Plan family trips and vacations that involve walking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, or paddling.
In The Community • Learn what sports and activities your teen enjoys doing and locate lessons or clubs for them. Some teens thrive on team sports while others like individual activities or being active with friends in a noncompetitive way. • Take advantage of your community’s recreational opportunities from soccer leagues to “fun runs” to walking tours. • Participate in community run/walk fundraising events as a family or encourage your teen to participate with friends. • Involve your teen in jobs or community service activities that they enjoy and that get them moving, such as planting in the local park or helping neighbors with cleaning, dog walking, or yard work. • Find outdoor activities through nature groups or hiking clubs and take your family on an outing.
60 Minutes is the Goal • Only 32% of children in the United States attend physical educational classes daily so teens need your support and encouragement to be active – especially outside of school – for at least 60 minutes every day. • The lack of physical activity among children and teens contributes to health problems. Healthy habits must begin early in life – with your help.
Source: Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov.
Forbes is the Business and Community Liaison at Cassadaga Job Corps Academy. She has an AAS in Nursing from Jamestown Community College and a BS in Human Services and Community with a concentration in women and family issues from SUNY Empire State College. She lives in Jamestown and is the mother of an adult son and grandmother of three.
For more information about CJCA, contact Janet Forbes at (716) 595-4237, email Forbes.Janet@jobcorps.org. or visit http://cassadaga.jobcorps.gov