(CARLSBAD, CA) – 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 isn’t enough to resign teens to the couch, then there’s always the old TV. Excessive television viewing continues to be a chronic problem among teens. A whopping 35 percent 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.
It’s hard to convince teens to tear themselves away from their homepage, much less take a jog or play a game of softball. Today, 65 percent 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 percent 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 percent in ninth grade, but only 32 percent in twelfth grade. Since P.E. isn’t mandatory for all four years of high school in most states, teenage girls opt out.
So, what’s 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.
That’s 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 she’ll have something new to write about when she sits down at the computer to update her MySpace blog.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.