November 17, 2018

Teen Fitness 101 by Jennifer Austin

School’s back in session. Why not take the opportunity to start talking about fitness with your youngster. Encourage them to learn the proper principles through a professional, instead of through gossip and fads. Invite their friends to join in on setting up healthy behaviors for a lifetime. Although they’ll probably never admit it, as they grow up they’ll appreciate knowing how to separate the facts of fitness, from the fiction of what they may see and hear.

Stay engaged with your teen to manage their activity by keeping a few points in mind:

Invest in professional instruction. Private instruction, community class or sport clubs will provide the basic principles of fitness.

Designate a space. Whether it’s a space in the garage, a corner of the room or shared living space, designate the area as the gym.

Allow their creativity. Posters, music and having a say in the location of the workout space will empower teens to want to make the effort to participate.

Base principles on science. Many mixed messages exist in the media and it’s only natural for young people to confuse what they read, see and hear with the facts of physiology.

Praise efforts. Anytime active time is better than inactive time!

Preach balanced behavior. Being mindful of words and attitude toward wellness will go a long way to establishing and setting a healthy example.

Listen. What kinds of statements are you hearing from your youngster regarding health and fitness. Don’t let mumbles or words during a quick passing of self-doubt or low self-esteem go unnoticed.

Can Exercise Make You Smarter? By Maggie Ayre


Can Exercise Make You Smarter? Securing Better Grades for Teenagers.

Researchers from a study conducted in Taiwan say the results do suggest that any form of exercise should be useful for maintaining and improving brain function.  It does seem to make sense that exercise that helps the circulatory system become more efficient makes the brain stronger as well. However, it’s not just improved oxygen uptake and improved circulation that helps brain activity.

Exercise stimulates the receptors for movement throughout the whole body. This information gets relayed to the brain where it increases the frequency of firing of all parts of the brain.  Movement helps the integration of the whole nervous system because we evolved to be creatures that are always on the go. This research is backed up by anecdotal evidence from regular exercisers who claim their activity has led to more energy, better sleep, increased attention and alertness and overall feelings of happiness and well-being all of which are directly related to the functioning of the brain.

Schools and teachers want the best for their pupils and for years this has led to a decrease in physical activity and an increase in time spent studying and reading books.  This research suggests that to really get the best from young people we should be prioritizing activity. In other countries schools are changing the way they operate to include more, rather than less activity within the school day.  The vast majority of private schools in the UK have followed suit and only the state sector seems left behind.

The NHS recommends that young people should be doing at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and that they should be working at a strenuous level for at least 90 minutes every week.  By bringing these activity sessions into the school day not only can we ensure they take place but we can also use them to increase brain activity at school and ensure pupils achieve the very best grades they are capable of.

Maggie Ayre is the UKs leading Fitness Coach for Teen Girls. As well as one-to-one and small group nutrition and fitness work with teens she has developed the 3G Program designed to be run at schools as part of the PE curriculum. She also offers mentoring for PE departments on how to re-engage teen girls with PE and has recently published her third book; “Nutrition for Exam Success – A Parent’s Guide” which is now available as a Kindle and paperback at Amazon.

What NOT to say to your Teen! By Maggie Ayre

5 Things Never to Say to Your Teenager During their Sporting Event

Maggie is the UK leading Fitness Coach for Teens.  As a teenager she was a member of the British Sailing Team.
She is no stranger to competitive sport for teens and knows just how essential parental support is.

However, sometimes parents get it wrong and say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Here Maggie shares her top 5 things never to say to your teenager during their sporting event.

1.    Don’t Mention What Happened Last Time
So your teen’s been here before she’s in pole position going into the final event, or he’s finally off the subs bench and the teams in the lead.  Last time it all went wrong in the closing stages.  Whatever you do don’t mention last time.  Your teen doesn’t need reminding.  Instead stick to positive comments only – no negative comments allowed.

2.    Don’t Change the Plan
If your teen never eats during a cycle race now is not the time to suggest a snack.  Changes to routine should always be introduced during training.

3.    Don’t  Criticize the Competition
The most successful sports men and women tend to be friends with everyone involved in the sport.  This season’s main competition may be next seasons training partner.  Avoid making personal comments.

4.    Let Them Focus
Now is not the time to mention the maths homework that needs to be done by tomorrow morning.

5.    Stay in the Moment
There’s time for celebration after the event is finished and a podium position or personal best secured.  Now is not the time to be talking about the future.  Don’t ask “what will you do when you’ve won” or “what’s the next step now it didn’t go so well” until another day.

Maggie Ayre is the UKs leading Fitness Coach for Teen Girls. As well as one-to-one and small group nutrition and fitness work with teens she has developed the 3G Program designed to be run at schools as part of the PE curriculum. She also offers mentoring for PE departments on how to re-engage teen girls with PE and has recently published her third book; “Nutrition for Exam Success – A Parent’s Guide” which is now available as a Kindle and paperback at Amazon.