Advertising
Advertising

Get Your Teenagers Active With These 4 Warm-Up Techniques

Get Your Teenagers Active With These 4 Warm-Up Techniques

Teenagers should engage in physical activity and sports for a variety of reasons. First of all, research has suggested that the teenage years may be the most important in regards to physical and mental development. There are direct ties between physical activity and improved academic performance. Indeed, studies have even shown that physical fitness could correlate with IQ. Taking proper steps to stay fit during adolescence can benefit the way your teen develops on both a psychological and physical level, equipping them with healthy habits that could continue throughout their entire lives.

Engaging in successful athletic challenges can be difficult without a proper warm-up in place to defend against aches, pains, and pulled muscles. Physical activity of any kind puts the body through a great deal of stress, as movements stimulate the muscles and put pressure on the joints. A good warm-up will help to fight against the negative impact of these stressors by gradually increasing the heart rate, increasing circulation between muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and even preventing potential injuries.

Advertising

Just as you may struggle to get the best performance out of a car with a cold engine, forcing cold bodies into quick action can lead to muscle damage. Encourage your teens to follow these tips when you’re preparing for a workout in order to prevent injury.

1. Start slowly and build progressively

As keen as your teen may be to join their classmates in sports or physical activities, they should never rush to warm their muscles before an intensive session. A proper workout is something that takes place over time, so the session should start gradually, allowing the body to ease into gentle movements before attempting to push it towards more challenging feats. There is a significant risk of tendon and muscle damage that may occur as a result of overly intense exercise, and this feeling of discomfort can heighten when the heart must work in overdrive within a very short space of time. An exercise regime should never begin with a full sprint; instead, begin with a walk, then a gentle jog, increasing speed in increments.

Advertising

2. Focus on enhancing circulation

For the body to work at its peak, every system must be functioning smoothly. The harder the body works, the more oxygen muscles will need to thrive. This means that breathing is harder, and the air inhaled will need to move quickly to the areas of the body that need it most. By starting any activity with a warm-up,  blood circulation can increase throughout tendons, muscles, and ligaments, raising the core temperature of the body and reducing the amount of work required for muscles to contract. As the heart rate increases, and blood pumps faster throughout the circulatory system, limbs become more flexible, and blood vessels dilate, aiding in the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.

3. Use dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is a proven and effective method of warming the body for your next workout. Dynamic stretching focuses on keeping your entire body moving throughout the warm-up, preparing your muscles for action by enhancing their core temperature and getting them used to movement. Teens should adjust the type of dynamic stretching they do according to the type of exercise or sport. For instance, teenagers about to take part in a basketball game may want to focus more on lateral movement and upper-body dynamic stretches, whereas those playing soccer may need lower-body warm-ups.

Advertising

Don’t confuse static stretching with dynamic: traditional static stretches do not give the same benefits as dynamic stretches as they can leave the muscles cold and can actually increase the chance of injury.

4. Remember the importance of balance

Finally, it’s worth remembering that warming up isn’t all about stretching out muscles and getting your heart beating–posture and balance are also critical factors in athleticism. The ability to maintain stability with a small amount of energy expenditure can impact skill development and injury rates. There are two primary forms of balance. The first is static, which is the unmoving option commonly seen in yoga. The second form of balance is dynamic, which focuses on keeping your center of mass sturdy during motion. Dynamic balance often requires a greater deal of energy and concentration, and warming up can assist teens by mentally preparing them for the approaching challenge. The more blood flow increases, the more awareness and concentration will heighten, leading to a more committed and focused athlete.

Advertising

Warming up is not only crucial for avoiding the negative repercussions of over-exerted muscles; it also leads to various positive effects during athletic performance. As you warm up, your heart rate, blood flow and lung activity increase, ensuring that muscles receive plenty of nutrients and oxygen. In other words, the right warm-up could help transform any beginner into an athletic expert.

More by this author

electronics Why Young Adults Need Time Away From Electronics teenage son Get Your Teenagers Active With These 4 Warm-Up Techniques boarding school 5 Compelling Reasons To Consider Boarding School For Your Student

Trending in Parenting

1How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills 2How Fat Kids Are Made by Parents (And How to Make Your Kids Healthy) 3These 18 Smart Kids Apps Will Make You Rethink Learning and Education 425 Fabulously Fun Family Activities To Bring You Closer Together 517 Ted Talks for Kids to Inspire Little Minds to Do Big Things

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on August 8, 2018

How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

Do you want the best for your kid? Of course you do!

Boosting your kid’s learning ability and social skills in less than 20 minutes a day? That’s where guided meditation for kids comes in.

You have probably heard a lot about meditation the last couple years. As there’s more and more research in the area of meditation, a lot of people finally start to see the benefits.

A subject that’s not talked about too much is that meditation can also help kids grow incredible learning and social skills.

Meditation for kids is becoming more popular every day as parents want their kids to see the benefits too.

What is guided meditation for kids?

First things first, what exactly is the guided meditation for kids that is talked about in this article?

We can define meditation with the help of Headspace:[1]

Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.

And according to GuidedMind, guided meditation is:[2]

Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

If you want to get into guided meditation, read this:

The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

Advertising

As you may know, there are a lot of variations on meditation. This includes:

  • Mindfulness, focusing on the breath while accepting everything that’s happening (thoughts, sounds, etc.).
  • (Guided) Visualization, visualizing a particular event, environment, feeling, etc.
  • Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM), focusing on the breath and the heart while feeling at one with everything. A focus on downward energy flow within the body.
  • Transcendental Meditation (TM), this technique is literally about transcending the negative through internal mantras.
  • Qi Gong, this is a form of meditation that is done through specific movement patterns while focusing on the breath.
  • Kundalini focuses on the upward flow of energy within the body. Focusing on that energy with your breath gives you a higher sense of consciousness.
  • Zazen, sitting with a back straight while focusing on deep breaths.

You can find out more about different forms in this article:

17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) to Practice Mindfulness

All these forms of meditation can be done individually or guided. Guided meditation for kids is the best choice because it will make it easier for them to follow and understand.

The benefits of meditation for kids

There are a lot of benefits meditation has to offer, but the most important benefit is that it relieves stress. In this time and age, this becomes more important than ever.

(Post-)millennials are dealing with a lot of stress due to the amount of work pressure, opportunities (decision making) and student loan debt (which results in wanting early financial success).[3]

Making sure children are stress resistant is of high importance for the future of their lives.

Of course, there are way more benefits to meditation. So, to convince you further; here follow more benefits to meditation.

There are precisely 76 benefits to meditation which are scientifically proved.[4] But the main benefits of meditation are:

  • Improved concentration[5]
  • Increased happiness[6]
  • Slows down the aging process[7]
  • Increased immunity[8] and cardiovascular health[9]
  • Improved mood and brain power

Here I’m going to look into some of meditation’s benefits that parents care about most:

Boost learning ability

The question is: ‘How does meditation for kids improve learning ability?’

There are, of course, multiple answers but there’s one simple answer; concentration. As you read earlier on in this article, meditation improves the ability to concentrate.

Advertising

If the ability to concentrate increases, it will lead to an increased attention span which is one of the factors that affect learning.

By implementing guided meditation into your kids’ life; he/she will become a better learner.

Another reason to increase the attention span of your child beside learning is that our average attention span per person is decreasing exponentially because of all the distractions that we have around us.

The more we let distractions in, the less easy it becomes to really focus on something. This is because it takes us 23 minutes to get into something after being distracted.[10]

Improve social skills

The way meditation for kids improves the social skills of the meditator is through the sense of presence it creates.[11] Being present in a conversation is more important than you may think.

Do you know those people who are just way up in their head which makes it hard to have an in-depth conversation with?

They probably don’t meditate.

By being present in a conversation, you can better understand the person you’re talking to. Not being carried away by your thoughts makes it easier to process the information the other is providing. Including non-verbal signs, you may never have noticed if you weren’t present.

Meditation for kids also improves charisma because of the loving nature that grows from meditating. Especially the kindness and gratitude focused forms of meditation for kids. By being more kind and grateful; your kid will increase in charisma and feeling of interconnectedness which will improve social skills.

Last but not least, implementing guided meditation for kids in the form of guided meditation by you (the parent) will likely improve the relationship between you and your child.

This creates the opportunity to educate your child on specific social skills you’ve picked up and the other way around. Also, a child is very dependent on its environment.

By increasing social skills yourself, you will improve the social skills of your child.

Advertising

How to get started with guided meditation for kids

Below follows a step-by-step process on how to implement guided meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

Step 1: Do it yourself first

Have you ever tried learning Spanish from someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? No, because it doesn’t make sense!

This is the same for meditation for kids. If you want to teach your kid how to meditate, you will first have to do it yourself.

Pick a form of meditation for kids you think would work best and get the hang of it. Follow guided meditation via YouTube or any platform you like.

Suggestions: Visualization meditation, body scan meditation or simple mindfulness.

There’s an easy guide on meditation you can do anywhere at any time:

The 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

Step 2: Expose your kid to the practice

By exposing your kid to the practice without him/her knowing, its intention will raise their curiosity. This makes it easier to convince them afterward.

Meditate in the presence of them; put your earplugs in and start meditating while they are around. When they talk to you or touch you while you’re meditating, keep meditating until they walk away.

When you’re done, you can explain what you were doing and why you were doing and ask to do it together. Explain it in a way, so they understand it.

Here’s an article that will help you explain mindfulness to your kid:

Mindfulness: What it is and How to Explain it to Kids and Adults

Advertising

Tip: Make it sound like it’s very special (which it is) so that they’ll grow their curiosity and excitement even more.

Step 3: Do it together

Now that you have the interest of your child and know the essence of meditation you can finally do it together. Guide them through the meditation or put on the meditation you followed before.

Make it a fun and enjoyable experience for your child at first while keeping the essence of meditation in mind.

As you and your child progress you may want to make it more serious.

Step 4: Let your child express himself/Herself entirely

You will get a lot of insights about your feelings and thoughts through meditation. Your child will also experience these things and may want to express it.

Ask your child after the meditation what he/she experienced or felt. Let them get rid of everything that’s bothering them.

Step 5: Be consistent

As you do it more frequently; you will build a habit for you and your kid that will benefit you both. Reward them after each meditation.

Make it a fun experience instead of something they must do. Don’t push it.

Step 6: Be calm and let it be

Again, don’t push it and don’t expect anything. You want to get your child into meditation for kids so he/she can benefit from it in the long run. But you can’t decide for your kid if he/she wants it or not.

You will have to educate yourself first before you can train your child. Read books or articles about meditation for kids and try your best.

Conclusion

Here’s a summary of the key points you have learned by reading this article:

  • You now know what (guided) meditation for kids is.
  • You know why it’s so important to include (guided) meditation into your and your kids’ life.
  • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the learning ability of your kid.
  • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the social skills of your kid.
  • You have the steps you can follow to implement meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

Good luck and start meditating with your kids!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next