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7 Reasons an Active Lifestyle Prepares You for Adulthood

Our teenage years are a time of preparation for being on our own and learning necessary lessons so we can survive on our own. Although school and a weekend job are essential to our development into adulthood, regular physical activity (whether through sports, dance, walks around the neighborhood or time spent in gym class) provides important lessons that we’ll carry into our future as grown-ups. Here are seven lessons we’ll learn from a regular, dedicated physical fitness routine:

1.) Cultivates a positive attitude:

Mother hugging daughter (13-15) while taking picture with mobile phone

Physical fitness is demanding. It’s easy to give up on a workout, especially when we’re tired, have other things to do or just not in the mood. But, when a workout is scheduled and we show the discipline to stick to it, we have to embrace a positive attitude in order to make it through.

As adults, there are plenty of times when we’ll have to force ourselves into situations that aren’t enjoyable. Having years of practice pumping ourselves up before hitting the gym will come in handy as we face an undesirable circumstance.

 

2.) Offers a sense of accomplishment, confidence and self-esteem:

Mother and daughter (13-15) performing yoga in garden

The Center for Disease Control reports that regular physical activity provides a long list of physical benefits, but that’s not all. Daily exercise also promotes mental and emotional well-being that includes self-esteem. We are physical beings who are not meant to sit in front of a videogame for several consecutive hours. God made us to be out and about, using our precious bodies for His glory.

It seems weird to think that adults need a self-esteem boost. But, when they face a difficult co-worker, an intense deadline or a harsh boss, it’s easy for them to start questioning their value, ability and worth. So, knowing how to tackle a problem (with a positive attitude) and see the end results come to fruition, brings a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

3.) Builds better peer relationships:

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We all want to fit in, but it’s not always easy. Organized physical activity hurdles the high wall of social awkwardness so many teens feel. Team sports demand participants to work together for a common goal. Teamwork cultivates selflessness, placing others before yourself. A necessary trait for adulthood.

While interacting at work, adults must find how they fit into the team. Their position is pivotal in reaching the end goal, but they need to know what their roles and responsibilities are in order to accomplish the task. When adults start families, they must look at the unit as a whole and push forward in ways that are best for the family rather than themselves as an individual. Plus, parents often have to set their own needs aside to care for the needs of their child.

4.) Develops more restraint in avoiding risky behavior:

Mother holding daughter (13-15) eyes closed, smiling, close-up

Ideally, if we’re engaged in the activity, then we’ll be productive. Bored or disengaged teens have a way of getting into trouble. Students are less likely to misbehave in class or break the law if it means getting kicked off the team of a sport they love.

A lot more rides on the responsibility of an adult than just getting kicked off of a team. Major consequences can result from adults getting in trouble with the law, or getting kicked out of a job. One bad decision can easily lead to another. So, knowing how to occupy your time and engage in healthy activities has long-term effects.

5.) Shapes greater family attachment:

Mother and daughter (13-15) playing computer game on sofa, smiling

Famous athletes say it all the time, “Thanks Mom. Thanks for driving me to and from practice, and thanks for showing up at the games.” And that doesn’t even count helping a child with actual practice – playing catch, squaring off one-on-one, etc. Involving family in physical activities provides great bonding experiences and opens doors to be able to relate to one another.

Family is so important no matter what stage of life we’re in, but as we begin to build our own family as adults, we want our children to honor and respect us. Being able to honor our children (like our parents did to us) will help us gain the respect we’ll deserve as parents.

6.) Arranges priorities and time management:

Mother helping daughter (13-15) writing in notebook, smiling

Our schedules are loaded with homework, after school activities, family commitments, hanging out with friends, earning a little extra cash. It’s hard to find the time to workout. But, by planning time for physical fitness, we’re learning to organize our time more effectively. Plus, physical activity provides a great boost of energy helping us accomplish more tasks at hand!

The list of “to-dos” and responsibilities just becomes longer into adulthood, so knowing how to prioritize our time will be essential. We’ll know the value of taking care of our bodies because so much has to be accomplished in a day.

7.) Provides a healthy perspective of body:

Mother painting daughter's (13-15) toes with nail polish

Being physically active helps us understand when our bodies are operating at their best, being more efficient and effective. We’ll know when we feel good and what we need to do to make ourselves feel better. By being physically active, we’ll learn the importance of eating healthy and taking care of a beautiful body.

Adults need a healthy balance in life. By learning these basic needs as teenagers, we’ll be more apt to care for ourselves and those we love as we mature into the adults (young or old) that God created us to be.

Now that you have a scope of all the incredible long-term benefits of physical fitness, grab a friend or family member and get moving. Tell us some other reasons why you think being physically active will help you in your future. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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