Want to start getting in shape as a teen? Here are 10 tips you need to know on how to get fit as a teenager!
Before we start, please note that everyone has their own way of working out, certain health and diet restrictions, and different opinions on fitness.
This is a basic guideline to follow if you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply stay in good shape/health.
With that said, let’s get into some basics!
Why You Should Get Fit as a Teenager
Aside from the obvious fact that working out will help you get in better shape, there are tons of benefits to exercise!
Here are a few things exercise can do for teenagers:
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety
- Boosts Your Immune System
- Improves Sleep
- Boosts Your Confidence
- Teaches You Discipline
- Helps Fight Diseases, Cancer, and Other Common Health Issues
As you can see, getting fit is not only for physical appearance. There are plenty of mental benefits to it as well!
Now that you understand the “why” behind it all, let’s get into the “how” of your fitness journey…
Diet is the most important way to get fit as a teenager… hands down!
If you’re not watching what you eat, all that hard work in the gym could lead to poor results. Remember, 80% of getting fit is diet while 20% is actually going to the gym.
You need the proper nutrition to give you the right calories and nutrients to recover.
There are 3 main nutrients for dieting:
- Protein (1g = 4 calories) – The main building component to grow and repair muscle
- Fat (1g = 9 calories) – Important for cell, hormone, and energy production (absolutely necessary!)
- Carbohydrates (1g = 4 calories) – The main source of energy for our body and helps protein build the muscle
All 3 components are absolutely essential for having a proper and healthy diet as a teenager. Calories play a big role in this as well…
They’re our fuel source… like gas for a car. They’re what we need to get through the day and burn off as we release energy.
1 pound of body fat = 3500 calories
So, if you wanted to lose 1 pound of body fat in a week, you would have to be in a 3500 calorie deficit.
Everyone has their own maintenance of calories which is the amount of calories that are just enough to get you through the day and sleep (usually around 2800 for men and 2200 for women).
Caloric Deficit: shortage of calories relative to the regular maintenance caloric intake
Caloric Surplus: excess of calories relative to the regular maintenance caloric intake
Want to gain weight? Eat more calories than your body usually burns
Want to lose weight? Eat less calories than your body burns so it can start burning the fat instead
Related Post: Full Body Workout for Teenagers at Home
Working out is 20% of the battle when it comes to getting fit. The only thing you need to decide is your goal…
Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, or stay in shape?
Once you figure that out, you can start working out in a way that benefits that goal. Each one has a slightly different variation to exercising:
- Lose Weight – requires an excellent diet with a decent amount of cardio
- Gain Weight – requires a high calorie diet with weight lifting and little to no cardio
- Build Muscle – requires a high protein diet with weight lifting and little cardio
- Stay in Shape – requires a maintenance level of diet and average daily exercise
If you’re a young teenager (under 15), try to wait on lifting any weights above your head until you get a little older.
Lifting weights above your head (usually during shoulder workouts) can put too much pressure on your spine and potentially strain your body.
Work on form first before going all in on heavy weights. It’s important to increase weight as you go, but the wrong form is worse.
8-12 reps are usually appropriate for most workouts. Keep in mind that reps were only created to give us a number of when we should be tired. So adjust the weight according to the amount of reps you can do
Abs should never take you longer than about 7 minutes
A mix of body weight, free weights, and machines is also important in your fitness regimen.
Cardio is very healthy for the body and more specifically the heart.
It can help you get rid of excess fat faster, but can get rid of some muscle as well if you are generally lean.
HIIT Cardio (High Intensity Interval Training) – It involves cardio that is done with very high intensity, but in very small increments.
For example, running on the treadmill very fast for 30 seconds, then walking for 30 seconds, and repeating.
This is known as the most effective form of cardio for burning fat and getting that heart rate up.
Your carbohydrates are burned first, then your fats, and once both of those are used up, your body starts to feed off of your excess body fat. That’s where you start to lose the real fat.
Cardio can be done in many ways such as running, boxing, swimming, jump rope, lifting weights, etc.
Related Post: How to Get Started in Fitness
Have a Goal
This is one of the most important things you need to remember if you want to know how to get fit as a teenager.
It all starts with a goal. Without one, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure.
You can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going.. so set a goal before you pursue your fitness journey.
An excellent way to set a fitness goal is by choosing an end weight, setting a time limit, and making smaller goals in between the main one.
Make sure your goal is realistic as well. You can’t healthily lose 20 pounds in 1 month. Spread it out and try to make your exercise a lifestyle instead of a one-time thing.
Workout Your Own Way
As stated earlier, everyone will have their own way of doing things, and I think that’s important to utilize when you exercise.
You might not feel motivated to do cardio because you suck at running, but maybe you’re an excellent boxer (and actually enjoy it)!
The point is, workout in a way that makes you comfortable. Doing so will put you in a state of flow (the peak point of efficiency between anxiety and relaxation).
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard. If anything, it should make you work harder because you actually enjoy it.
You can also mix things up and try different forms of exercise once in a while.
Related Post: Ab Workout for Teenage Guys
Rest days are absolutely crucial to get fit as a teenager!
They are important for muscle growth, refueling your energy, and making exercise not feel like torture.
1-2 rest days per week is plenty to rejuvenate your body and start fresh the next day. Taking more rest days than that can throw you off your groove and lead to failure.
The point is… don’t overuse them, but don’t forget about them either.
As a teenager, your body is naturally growing whether you workout or not, so rest days are just insurance to make sure you’re not overworking your body.
Get Enough Sleep
Exercise will expend a ton of energy, which is why you need those hours of sleep to help you recover properly and keep you motivated for the next day.
Sleep is more important for fitness than most people think. In fact, the majority of your muscle growth comes from adequate sleep.
You’ll also feel improved moods, motivation, and productivity just from getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night.
Set a time for going to sleep and waking up and stay consistent with those times. Going to bed from 2am – 10am is still worse than 11pm- 7am… so go to bed earlier!
Related Post: 10 Workout Youtube Channels for Beginners
The truth is, you can’t get fit as a teenager if you’re not consistent with your efforts!
Fitness is one of those things where if you don’t stay on top of it, you will start to lose it and fall off track. You’re essentially hitting a reset button on your progress!
Remember, it only takes about 3 weeks to develop a new habit, so just follow through for 21 days without fail and you’ll catch it naturally.
Have a daily routine that involves you planning your workout plan, diet, and tracking your progress.
Figure out ways to motivate yourself through rewards, weighing yourself, having friends stay accountable for you, etc.
It never hurts to ask for help in life, and fitness is no exception to that rule!
Starting is the very first step to get fit as a teenager, which is why I’m putting it last on the list.
Do whatever it takes to start your first day in your fitness journey. Here a few things you can do right now to start getting fit:
- Set out workout clothes for the next day
- Make a workout plan right now
- Go food shopping for your diet
- Sign up to a gym or make a home setup
- Weigh yourself
- Take progress pics on your first day (to compare later)
Oh, and one last thing… HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, you won’t continue pursuing something that you know you won’t enjoy or that doesn’t have a purpose.
After all, there’s no better feeling than improving your health, looking better, and developing new positive habits!
I hope these 10 tips showed you how to get fit as a teenager! Remember to set a goal and start now. You’ll thank your future self later ?.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave them down below. Thanks for reading!