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5 Ways for Your Tween and Teen to Be Fit and Healthy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that students who are physically active tend to have better grades, that higher physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance, and that those who participate in physical activities have fewer disciplinary problems.

Add to that the fact that they will be laying the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and creating great habits, and it’s a great deal all around. Yet many teens and their parents have questions about fitness that may be holding them back.

“The benefits of being a fit teen are plentiful, but it’s important to also know how to help reduce injury risks and stay motivated over the long haul,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “Being fit and healthy is more than just exercising, so it’s a good idea to learn more about what you need to do to be healthy all around.”

Here are 5 fitness tips every teen should read:

1. Eat brain food. This is the good stuff, which is the unprocessed, whole foods, which include things like salads, poultry, lean meats, eggs, healthy fats, etc. Unprocessed foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients that will keep you sharp mentally and physically fit, too.

2. Train to be more useful. Going to the gym to work on your “abs” and “beach muscles” is usually done with endless sit-ups and biceps curls, but you can get the same effect by training to be more athletic, faster, and generally more useful in life, which means working to get your entire body stronger. You can work with a personal trainer to put together a routine that meets these needs and goals that are tailored specifically for you.

3Go into Do Not Disturb mode. A big part of mental fitness is the ability to step away from the phone calls, texts, and Instagram feeds. Your mind will keep you feeling better when you walk away from those things more often. Take some time to go for a walk or spend time playing with your dog, as these kinds of things are good for your body and your mind.

4. Appreciate that nothing happens overnight. When embarking on a fitness routine, it helps to celebrate the small victories that come with the little daily improvements. Yes, you may want to get a big bench press or increase your vertical jump by several inches – both are worthy pursuits, but both also take time and dedication. Learn to love the small changes and watch how they lead to meeting big goals.

5. Beware of the changes. Fitness has changed a lot in 20 years, so be careful whose advice you take. There are plenty of well-intended coaches and parents who dole out advice that is at best antiquated and at worst downright dangerous. Listen to your body, ask questions, and seek out expert advice when you need it!

“The teen years are a great time to work on fitness and for laying the foundation for a healthy body and future,” added Coach Walls. “The more you know about what it takes, the less you are looking for an overnight fix. Getting fit, whether you are a teen or a senior citizen, takes time, patience, and dedication. But it’s worth it!”

Sarah Walls has over 15 years experience in coaching and personal training. Owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc, founded in 2007, she offers coaching to develop athletes, adult programs, team training, online coaching, and more. She is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and has over eight years of experience working as an NCAA D1 strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com.

Let your Father’s Day gift also work to bring a healthy baby into the world with March of Dimes’ ‘imbornto’ initiative

As you start planning for Father’s Day this year, consider also doing something to support strong and healthy babies from the start and the March of Dimes imbornto national marketing initiative. The campaign celebrates the fantastic things babies were born to do and thanks the mothers and fathers who brought them into the world.
While out and about shopping, thru Father’s Day, consider purchasing a gift with the imbornto logo on partner products including, those from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., Mud Pie, Scentsy, e.p.t. TM Family Planning Solutions, Oral-B®, Kmart and eBay.



Proceeds from the sale or a direct donation at a site where the imbornto logo is visible will help the mission of the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health
“Together, with our partners, March of Dimes continues to help moms have full-term  pregnancies and ensure the birth of healthy, strong babies,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse,  president of March of Dimes. “This annual imbornto campaign honors the people ultimately responsible for the opportunities each and every baby has. Please join every baby in thanking  moms and dads for everything they do.” 
Visit www.imbornto.com for more information and for the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org.

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