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Teen Girls The Newest Fitness Demographic
MP3 players, MySpace, Facebook, video games, Instant Messages, and text messages. There are so many reasons for teens to stay sedentary in this age of technology.
If modern technology isnt enough to resign teens to the couch, then theres always the old TV. Excessive television viewing continues to be a chronic problem among teens. A whopping 35% of American teenagers watch more than three hours of television daily. According to researchers at Memphis State University and the University of Tennessee, these kids metabolisms are actually slower when they watch television than when they sleep or do absolutely nothing at all.
Its hard to convince teens to tear themselves away from their homepage, much less take a jog or play a game of softball. Today, 65% of American teenagers fall short of the American Heart Association recommendations for daily physical activity.
The problem is that teens especially adolescent girls have a difficult time finding activities that are enjoyable to them. Only 33% of American girls play team sports. That leaves two-thirds of American girls who must find physical activity in other realms.
What about P.E., you say? The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota found that girls involvement in physical education courses stands at 70% in ninth grade, but only 32% in twelfth grade. Since P.E.
isnt mandatory for all four years of high school in most states, teenage girls opt out.
So, whats the answer? The Tucker Center found over the course of a 10-year study that girls were most likely to stay involved in a fitness activity if they found it “fun.” The fitness industry is listening loud and clear, offering such options as Wii Fit and Dance Revolution systems. Meanwhile, many health and fitness centers now provide teen yoga, rock-climbing, and dance-fitness classes. Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc., created and consistently choreographs routines for Junior Jazzercise and Team Dance programs, designed to get kids and teens moving in ways that are fresh and innovative.
If your teenage daughter has resigned herself to the sofa or the computer room, try taking a few small steps to get her moving again. The American Heart Association recommends that teenagers raise their heart rates for 20 minutes, without stopping, at least three times per week.
Thats not a tall order. Only three times per week, ask your teen to take a walk with you or allow her to choose a class at the local parks and recreation facility. And hey, then shell have something new to write about when she sits down at the computer to update her MySpace blog.
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