Is Your Teen Exercising Too Much?

Is Your Teen Exercising Too Much? 

During adolescence young people become keenly aware of their appearance and how it can affect their interactions with the world around them. While there is no universal ideal body weight, there are medical benchmarks that indicate obesity. For example, Harvard Health explains “The healthy range for body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9, and obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.” According to Verywell Health, “doctors recommend that teens age 13 to 18 get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week.” Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and engaging in regular exercise can be beneficial for young people, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Compulsive exercising in teens can be dangerous and is linked to eating disorders. 

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that could be indicative of a teen compulsively exercising could include but are not limited to, any combination of the following examples, provided by Nemours Children’s Health:

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Overuse injuries (e.g., tendinitis, stress fractures, etc.)
  • Poor immune system
  • Inability to recover from workouts
  • Physical and/ or emotional fatigue or exhaustion 

Teenagers are on a perpetual path of self-discovery, which includes how they would like to appear and be perceived by others. American pop culture propagates that body shape, size, and weight are based entirely on one’s exercise habits and diet and that with the proper combination a young person can achieve any shape, size, weight of their desire. However, every teenager is different, and each will be biologically predisposed to a certain body-type. Due to the highly volatile and emotional nature of teenagers, it can be difficult to distinguish between typical teenage behavior and an indication that something may be awry. When in doubt, consult with a professional. If left untreated, teens that engage in excessively, unhealthy over-exercising habits can develop a plethora of adverse short and long-term effects. 

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

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