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What Can the Young Teen do for Increased Activity?

Kisar Dhillon is a professional fitness trainer living in Orange County, California. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, Post Baccalaureate Studies in Exercise Physiology and a Masters in Business Administration. He has more than 16 years in the health and fitness industry and is currently the owner of 1-2-1 Fitness, LLC.

We all know that the rate of obesity and diabetes is on a steady increase in the United States, and it does not look like that trend is slowing down. With the cost of food increasing in grocery stores and the amount of disposable income decreasing, it is very challenging for families to afford the right types of foods and the ability to invest in a gym or fitness equipment. That is why fast food and take out is so appealing, because it is cheaper (both in cost & time).

For health professionals in the field, it has become very challenging to alter the food habits of our teens, and it seems like a losing battle that is spawning early diagnoses of diabetes, coronary artery disease, and even strokes.

What we can do is help them increase their activity in order to offset the extra calories that they consume. For the young teen it is always a good practice to start from the ground up, and when they develop more muscular strength and endurance, they can implement more challenging exercises.

Here is a list of exercises that a young teen can implement for the first four weeks of their routine (3 times/week):

1. Opposite Arm & Leg (3 sets/20 reps) – Lie on your stomach – Lift your right arm up & left leg up at the same time. Then lift your left arm up & right leg up at the same time.

2. Push-Ups (3 sets /15reps) – Start out on your knees, when your elbows form a 90 degree angle (Right Triangle), pause, and then push back up. If this is too easy, do them on your toes.

3. Abdominal Crunches (3 sets/30reps) – Lie on your back, bring knees toward chest, hands gently holding your head, and crunch shoulders towards the ceiling. Your shoulder blades only go up about 1” off the ground, but not any further. A rule of thumb, pretend you’re kissing the ceiling.

4. Squats from a chair (3 sets/20reps) – Sit at a chair, cross your arms across your chest, head looking straight ahead or up, and then stand up & sit down.

5. Balancing on one leg (3 sets/60sec/leg) – Balance on one leg, slightly bend your knee and hold it for 60 seconds (Exercises your leg & core muscles).

It is very upsetting to see that the average body type of our teenager now resembles that of an overweight individual. These unfortunate visual signs are indicators of future health problems that can be preventable. If this is left untreated, our teenagers will ultimately suffer the dire consequences when they enter adulthood. The medical community at large has stated that this may be the first demographic group that may not outlive their parents, which is every parent’s worst nightmare.

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February 26th, 2011

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