Exercise and the Teenage Mind:

For those of us who aren’t teenagers reading this right now (and for those that are too), we know how angsty those years can be. It’s a time of growth, coming into your own identity, learning about yourself and who you want to be, and it often has no shortage of difficult to navigate emotional states. (Not to mention, you have academic demands too).

It’s a certainly beautiful, magical time, but it is also a challenging one for many. Anxiety, depression, and other mental issues are not uncommon, especially in this stage of life. And when we find certain life hacks that can help, well it’s a good idea to take note. It seems physical exercise is one of those (very successful) hacks.

study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, dives into the correlations between exercise and good mental health. They found that some schools are cutting opportunities for physical activity during the school day, but with the latter connection (and the connection to academic performance too), Kazdin says that’s a mistake.

Yale University child psychologist Alan Kazdin, the editor of Clinical Psychological Science, says he thinks “it would be too strong to call it an elixir,” but said, “it has the broad effects of something like that.”

You don’t have to be into sports to engage in some fun physical activity. With the internet, we know now there are NO shortage of interesting activities you can find, whether it’s every type of dance you can think of, martial arts, mycology and mushroom hunting, skateboarding, geocaching, or even battle re-enactment, there are truly possibilities in perpetuity. Head over to MeetUp.com, and you’ll find that there’s someone out there with an interest in just about anything you can dream up!

And if you’re interested in reading more about this study, check out the full article at NPR here.

The only step now: get out there and help your teen (or yourself) find the one that they (you) enjoy most! Their/your mental health will thank you.