As part of the High School Summer Pass from May 16 to August 31, teens will be able to go to their local Planet Fitness to gain weight, improve their cardiovascular health and experience the serotonin-boosting benefits of working with friends. (Just pre-register online, wait for sign-up information in your inbox, and start sweating).
Snatching a free gym membership is a great way to get out of the house, sure, but it also makes physical activity more fun and accessible for high school kids. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17 are advised to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes or more per day, but about 77 percent of adolescents are fully within that quota. No.
This lack of mobility can affect adolescents’ mental and physical well-being: Your sweating has many lifelong benefits, ranging from reducing your risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes to relieving feelings of depression. In short, what teens learn in the gym goes beyond biceps curls.
A complimentary gym membership can remove the needle especially for teenage girls. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), at the age of 14, girls quit sports twice as often as boys. The WSF attributes these staggering figures to a number of factors, including social stigma, a lack of role models, and a 1.3 million lower chance of girls playing in high school than boys.
While Planet Fitness membership doesn’t necessarily close this gap during the school year, it does ensure that girls can move around safely and explore what they like about their bodies during the summer. And, of course, the years leading up to adulthood are important for exploring the types of exercises that will stick with you for a lifetime (even when those lazy, dark summer days are spent working in an air-conditioned office).
Summer vacation is underway.
Not sure where to start in the gym? Try this beginner-friendly energy and mobility routine:
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