There are most likely one of two reasons you’re reading this article. One, you’re a parent that would be thrilled if your kid was doing something that didn’t involve technology. Or two, you are the parent of a savvy teenager who’s trying to convince you to let them try CrossFit. We are all familiar with the old myths of “lifting weights stunts growth” and there is a great deal of evidence that strength training and exercise with proper form and supervision is beneficial to individuals at any age. When it comes to your teenager, however, there is a lot more on the line and a lot more potential upside to be gained. Let’s examine 3 reasons why CrossFit can benefit your teenager.
1. Exercise is a habit they will carry with them there whole life
Many teenagers are undergoing a period of rapid change. We all remember how tumultuous those high school years could be even at their best. The most we can hope for our kids is that they stay safe, plan for the future, and develop their character along the way. With so many moving pieces it can be extremely beneficial to have a solid foundation and practice that stays with you for the journey of high school, college, and beyond.
Developing a habit of regular exercise has benefits that surpass just the physical outcomes. Your teenager will learn how to stick with a routine that is positively benefiting them. It can become a place of support, a place to relieve some stress or blow off some steam. I’ve never heard anyone say that things really went downhill after they started going to the gym regularly!
2. It helps them build a positive self-image
Alan Kazdin, a child psychologist at Yale University discovered that teenagers who took part in organized fitness activities had significantly greater self-esteem and a more positive self-image than their peers who were not regularly active. The teens in the study also experience fewer problematic encounters “like social withdrawal and anxiety, getting into trouble, and aggressive behavior with others” says Kazdin.
3. It could even boost their IQ
According to one study, they were able to draw a direct correlation between the fitness of a teen at age 18 and their IQ. It’s hard to say if exercise is the cause of this but we do know that the human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. We also know that regular exercise can boost the size of the hippocampus, the area responsible for learning and memory. Odds are that regular exercise could be just the boost your teen needs to get that scholarship or win the science fair!
Our CrossFit Teens program just began for the fall. If you have questions about getting your teenager into CrossFit please give us a call or stop by to watch a class for yourself!