It is important for parents to encourage their children to exercise on a regular basis. Hiking, playing a sport, dancing and doing yoga are some of the ways that teens can exercise. Physical activity can benefit a teen’s mental health.
In fact, some studies suggest that exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants. Studies have also shown that people who are inactive are more likely to develop mental health conditions. Exercise can improve health by boosting serotonin. This is a chemical that regulates mood.
Exercise can also lower cortisol levels. Additionally, exercise helps teens sleep better. There was a study done in Canada that was published in the “Journal of Adolescent Health”. The study analyzed the activity levels of middle school and high school students. The study showed that teens who played sports were less likely to develop depression. They also did better in the classroom.
Keep in mind that a teen does not have to play a sport to benefit. They can improve their mental health by doing any type of exercise. There was another study done by the Univerity of Newcastle in Australia. It involved teens who suffered from major depressive disorder.
The teens exercised regularly for 12 weeks. The results of the study showed that 10 out of 12 of the subjects were no longer depressed by the time the study ended. There have also been studies done to suggest that vigorous exercise can decrease the risk of depression by 25 percent.
James S. Gordon is the author of a book entitled “Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression.” He stated that exercising is one of the best ways to overcome depression.