Teens - beware of high intensity & weight training

With generations getting progressively more into the digital world, it would be hard for any parent to put the brakes on an exercise routine for their children. However, it’s important to note that for kids, especially teenagers, exercise routines that work for adults are not appropriate and can be dangerous.

A good rule to keep in mind is that bodies under the age of sixteen are developing; and truly, this applies into the early 20s. It’s great to lift weights and exercise, but certain restrictions need to be kept in mind. For starters, they should not aim to do small sets at maximum weight. This is a recipe for injury. Instead, 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps at a reasonable weight are recommended. Teens also need to keep in mind that it takes years to see gains in muscle mass, so going slowly is important to avoid injury and not stunt the body’s natural growth.

Diet is also a key factor to keep in mind. Professional bodybuilders follow extreme diets, which would be very dangerous for developing adolescent bodies. For teens, rather than cutting out whole categories of foods such as carbs, it’s better to focus on a healthy overall diet. Additionally, supplements should be avoided. They are not regulated by the FDA, and there are certainly no comprehensive studies showing what they do to a body that is still growing. A simple protein shake with minimal ingredients might be helpful post-exercise, but anything beyond that should be avoided. 

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