Exercise Ideas for Teens

Experts recommend that teens get one hour of physical activity per day, and thinking outside the box can help exercise feel like less of a drag.

Tired of passing by that lump on your couch with their face buried in their phone? Check out some of these creative exercise ideas recommended by your pediatricians for teens to get your kids up and moving!

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Neighbourhood Sports

Although our culture has changed quite a bit since the free-range parenting of the 80s and 90s, plenty of kids and teens still head outdoors to play and socialize. If the neighbourhood kids on your block don’t get out and play, your family can be the ones to start the trend! A regular pick-up game of basketball or baseball may be just the thing your teen needs to snap out of their funk and get more active.

Involve the Whole Family

If your primary reason for encouraging your teen to incorporate more exercise is weight loss, it can be helpful and morale-boosting for the whole family to get involved. Don’t just buy your teen a treadmill and leave them to fend for themselves; rather, purchase bikes for the whole family and get outdoors to hit the trail together. The same goes for dietary changes. Healthy habits stick better when you do them together.

Make It a Contest

Exercise can be a great time of bonding between siblings or for teens and their parents. One way to accomplish this is to make it a friendly competition. Can your son shoot as many baskets in five minutes as Dad? Can your daughter keep up with Mom’s former track-star record? Which sibling can do the most curls? A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone.

Don’t Rule Out Video Games

Whether it’s an on-the-go session of Pokémon Go or a family fun night of Mario Party on the Nintendo Switch, video games that get your teens off the couch are a creative way to sneak in some extra hours of exercise. Exercise doesn’t always have to be formal or structured — it just has to get your teen active.

Have Fun with TikTok Dance Moves

It may sound crazy… but consider meeting your teens where they’re at and get them moving with hilarious and adrenaline-pumping TikTok dance challenges. Dancing can burn up to 200 calories per half hour — and it’s a whole lot of fun, too! It won’t even feel like exercise.

American Ninja Warrior Workouts

While you may not be able to build an obstacle course in your backyard, many “ninja gyms” are popping up across the country. In lieu of an American Ninja Warrior class near you, a local CrossFit box that offers classes geared towards teens could be another good fit for an older teen who is serious about wanting to work out.

Consider Group Classes

No matter what your teen’s interests are, there’s sure to be a class somewhere that gets them excited and passionate about getting active. From classic group activities like Zumba or tennis to more solitary endeavors like swimming or horseback riding, even reserved personalities can find something they enjoy.