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The Ultimate Teen Workout

Joseph Arangio, M.S., C.S.C.S.

Four Easy Moves to help you feel and look great

Does climbing a flight of stairs leave you panting like a dog in the summer heat? If so, it may be time for a total-body tune up.

For many busy teenagers, the demands of school, family, and other activities leave little time for staying in shape. Long hours spent sitting (think science class, video games, and the Internet) coupled with not-so-good meal choices are common reasons for feeling tired and unmotivated.

Good health requires careful planning, focused effort, and a long-term commitment. There are no shortcuts, just time-tested strategies to help you be the best God created you to be. Playing sports is no excuse to chow down on sugary foods, simply because you’ll burn it off during practice. Instead, enjoy a balanced diet of chicken, fish, lean meats, fresh fruits, and veggies. Wash down a tasty meal with a tall glass of water, since most other drinks add unnecessary calories (and a pot belly when you’re older).

If you’re wondering where ice cream, pizza, and other goodies fit into the plan, you’ll be surprised to learn that you can have your cake and eat it too—literally. Reward yourself one day a week and gobble down whatever you want. Just be sure to get back on your healthy eating schedule after your 24-hour splurge.

Four Easy Moves Three Days a Week

Keeping our bodies fit and healthy requires more than eating right. It also takes exercise. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week, do these four strength-building moves, completing four sets of ten repetitions for each one. Rest for no more than forty-five seconds between sets. Then add twenty minutes of bike riding, running, or swimming to train your heart and lungs. At the end of the workout, hold your favorite stretches for thirty seconds each to prevent injury and to improve flexibility.

DIG DEEPER

Here’s another way to think about healthy living: Everything in moderation, nothing in excess. It’s not a quick-fix diet and workout plan but a wholesome lifestyle recommended by doctors, scientists, and the Good Book itself: “I pray that all goes well for you. I hope that you are as strong in body, as I know you are in spirit” (3 John 1:2, CEV). What lifestyle changes are you willing to make to become the person God created you to be—healthy in mind, body and spirit?

Joseph Arangio, M.S., C.S.C.S. , is a fitness expert and a best-selling author. He helps teens get in top shape with PEAK Online Fitness Trainer (www.peaksc.com), an affordable web-based personal training system.

—from devozine (March/Aoril 2008). Copyright © 2008 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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