Exercise for Teens: How Much and What Kind?

Reviewed Feb 27, 2017

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Summary

  • Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body.
  • Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

There are many levels and kinds of exercise that can keep your body healthy. Learn more about different kinds of exercise and how they work.

Levels of exercise

There are three levels of physical activity.

  • Light—not sweating; not breathing hard (slow walking, dancing)
  • Moderate—breaking a sweat; can talk but can’t sing (walking fast, dancing)
  • Vigorous—sweating, breathing hard, can’t talk or sing (running, swimming laps)

No matter what level at which you are exercising, the activity can be one of three types: aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening exercise, or bone-strengthening exercise.

It’s important to remember that as you exercise more and more, activities that were once vigorous may become moderate. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. After several weeks or months of training, try jogging for longer distances or at a faster rate. 

What kind of exercise does your body need?

Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body. Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

Exercise should include something from each of these four basic fitness areas:

Cardio-respiratory endurance is the same thing as aerobic endurance. It means using your heart and lungs nonstop. When you exercise, your heart beats faster, sending more needed oxygen throughout your body. If you are not fit, your heart and lungs have to work harder during exercise. Long runs and swims are examples of activities that can help your heart and lungs work better over a long period of time.

Muscular strength is the ability to move a muscle against a resistance. To become stronger, you need to push or pull against resistance, such as your own weight (like in push-ups), using free weights (note: talk to an instructor before using weights), or even pushing the vacuum cleaner. Regular exercise keeps all of your muscles strong and makes it easier to do daily physical tasks.

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to keep pushing against resistance for a long period. Push-ups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles. Aerobic exercise also helps to improve your muscular endurance. Activities such as running increase your heart rate and make your heart muscle stronger.

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and make them long. Reaching for your toes is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. When you are flexible, you are able to bend and reach with ease. Being flexible can help prevent injuries like pulled muscles. This is why warming up and stretching are so important. If you force your body to move in a way that you aren’t used to, you risk tearing muscles, as well as ligaments and tendons (other parts of your musculoskeletal system). Yoga increases muscle strength and flexibility.

Source: The National Women's Health Information Center, A Project of the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.girlshealth.gov/fitness/exercise/levels.html

Summary

  • Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body.
  • Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

There are many levels and kinds of exercise that can keep your body healthy. Learn more about different kinds of exercise and how they work.

Levels of exercise

There are three levels of physical activity.

  • Light—not sweating; not breathing hard (slow walking, dancing)
  • Moderate—breaking a sweat; can talk but can’t sing (walking fast, dancing)
  • Vigorous—sweating, breathing hard, can’t talk or sing (running, swimming laps)

No matter what level at which you are exercising, the activity can be one of three types: aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening exercise, or bone-strengthening exercise.

It’s important to remember that as you exercise more and more, activities that were once vigorous may become moderate. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. After several weeks or months of training, try jogging for longer distances or at a faster rate. 

What kind of exercise does your body need?

Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body. Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

Exercise should include something from each of these four basic fitness areas:

Cardio-respiratory endurance is the same thing as aerobic endurance. It means using your heart and lungs nonstop. When you exercise, your heart beats faster, sending more needed oxygen throughout your body. If you are not fit, your heart and lungs have to work harder during exercise. Long runs and swims are examples of activities that can help your heart and lungs work better over a long period of time.

Muscular strength is the ability to move a muscle against a resistance. To become stronger, you need to push or pull against resistance, such as your own weight (like in push-ups), using free weights (note: talk to an instructor before using weights), or even pushing the vacuum cleaner. Regular exercise keeps all of your muscles strong and makes it easier to do daily physical tasks.

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to keep pushing against resistance for a long period. Push-ups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles. Aerobic exercise also helps to improve your muscular endurance. Activities such as running increase your heart rate and make your heart muscle stronger.

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and make them long. Reaching for your toes is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. When you are flexible, you are able to bend and reach with ease. Being flexible can help prevent injuries like pulled muscles. This is why warming up and stretching are so important. If you force your body to move in a way that you aren’t used to, you risk tearing muscles, as well as ligaments and tendons (other parts of your musculoskeletal system). Yoga increases muscle strength and flexibility.

Source: The National Women's Health Information Center, A Project of the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.girlshealth.gov/fitness/exercise/levels.html

Summary

  • Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body.
  • Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

There are many levels and kinds of exercise that can keep your body healthy. Learn more about different kinds of exercise and how they work.

Levels of exercise

There are three levels of physical activity.

  • Light—not sweating; not breathing hard (slow walking, dancing)
  • Moderate—breaking a sweat; can talk but can’t sing (walking fast, dancing)
  • Vigorous—sweating, breathing hard, can’t talk or sing (running, swimming laps)

No matter what level at which you are exercising, the activity can be one of three types: aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening exercise, or bone-strengthening exercise.

It’s important to remember that as you exercise more and more, activities that were once vigorous may become moderate. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. After several weeks or months of training, try jogging for longer distances or at a faster rate. 

What kind of exercise does your body need?

Exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body. Examples include swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike.

Exercise should include something from each of these four basic fitness areas:

Cardio-respiratory endurance is the same thing as aerobic endurance. It means using your heart and lungs nonstop. When you exercise, your heart beats faster, sending more needed oxygen throughout your body. If you are not fit, your heart and lungs have to work harder during exercise. Long runs and swims are examples of activities that can help your heart and lungs work better over a long period of time.

Muscular strength is the ability to move a muscle against a resistance. To become stronger, you need to push or pull against resistance, such as your own weight (like in push-ups), using free weights (note: talk to an instructor before using weights), or even pushing the vacuum cleaner. Regular exercise keeps all of your muscles strong and makes it easier to do daily physical tasks.

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to keep pushing against resistance for a long period. Push-ups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles. Aerobic exercise also helps to improve your muscular endurance. Activities such as running increase your heart rate and make your heart muscle stronger.

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and make them long. Reaching for your toes is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. When you are flexible, you are able to bend and reach with ease. Being flexible can help prevent injuries like pulled muscles. This is why warming up and stretching are so important. If you force your body to move in a way that you aren’t used to, you risk tearing muscles, as well as ligaments and tendons (other parts of your musculoskeletal system). Yoga increases muscle strength and flexibility.

Source: The National Women's Health Information Center, A Project of the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.girlshealth.gov/fitness/exercise/levels.html

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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