If you are an overweight teen, the excess pounds may be causing you embarrassment, not to mention posing risks to your health. Along with diet, exercise is a good way decrease body fat and reach a healthier weight. Talk to a doctor before you start working out, and ask her what your ideal body weight should be. No one's body is perfect, and the most important thing is being active and healthy.
Teens need about an hour's worth of cardio activity a day, but this does not have to be done all at once. You can break your workouts up into smaller segments, if that works better for your schedule. For example, go for a 10-minute walk before school, then play a half-hour of basketball after school. Follow it up with 20 minutes of rollerblading or jogging in the evening, and you will meet your 60-minute goal. You can also choose activities like playing soccer, swimming, dancing or hiking. Anything that makes you breathe faster and causes your heart to pump harder counts as an aerobic workout.
You may think that lifting weights is only for bodybuilders, but strength training can help you lose weight as well. It will make you stronger and enhance your performance in sports and aerobic activities. Choose a weight that you can lift 12 to 15 times before getting tired -- do not try to lift weights that are too heavy for your body to handle. You can use these weights to do exercises like squats, bicep curls and situps, or you can use your body weight to perform pushups and pullups. Pilates and yoga classes are another option for building lean muscle and improving your balance.
After every workout, set aside time to cool down and stretch your muscles. This will help keep you from getting injured and improve your flexibility, which will increase your performance level in other physical activities. You can do some simple stretches on your own or take a ballet or karate class, which will burn calories while also improving your flexibility.
Discuss your weight concerns with a parent or trusted adult, and make sure you are not chasing after an unrealistic body image. You should start exercising with the intent to keep it up for life, since this will not only help you lose the weight and keep it off, but it will also improve your health overall. Begin slowly and choose activities you enjoy doing, and consider joining a sports team or involving your friends. Being physically active does not have to be boring or dreadful, and just moving a little more each day can put you on your way to reaching your weight-loss goals.