You may think extreme exercise will help you look like a skinny model. That, and several other fitness traps, almost always ends in disappointment. Check out these popular fitness traps, and get the lowdown on healthy exercise.
Fitness Trap #1: Exercise to Lose Weight
You may see a bunch of twigs walking down the runway, but in real life, girls gain weight in their teens. This is normal. Putting on 40 pounds between age 10 and 14 is not unusual or unhealthy.
Does this mean you should just sit around get fat? No! Regular exercise can help you stay healthy as you develop. One study found that girls who don’t exercise gain an average of 10 to 15 pounds more than active girls. Something as simple as five 30-minute walks a week is all it takes.
Fitness Trap #2: Talk Yourself Out of Exercise
Maybe you think you look stupid or fat when you exercise. This keeps a lot of girls on the sidelines. Ironically, active girls say they feel better about themselves and their bodies, no matter how much they weigh.
Fitness Trap #3: Plan for Pain, Embarrassment, Boredom
OK, you hate the treadmill and loathe team sports. Then stay away from things that make you feel like a hamster or require hand-eye coordination. You still have options. Some girls stay away from ball fields, only to fall in love with dancing, yoga, and martial arts. Others find their bliss through biking, jogging, swimming, or taking long walks.
Fitness Trap #4: Do Only One Thing
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Cross training helps build your overall fitness and helps you to not get injured. It also keeps things interesting. Here are the different kinds of exercise to work into your routine.
Good for: stronger heart and lungs
Examples: inline skating, dancing, walking briskly, jogging, biking, swimming
Good for: stronger muscles and bones
Examples: lifting weights, working with resistance bands, many kinds of yoga, rock climbing
Core body exercise
Good for: stronger trunk, pelvis, and lower back, better balance
Examples: sit-ups, leg lifts, yoga, Pilates