As a teenager, there can be a lot of competition for your attention. Between school, homework, running errands with parents and hanging out with friends, life may feel quite busy at times. And with only so many hours in the day, it’s no surprise that some tasks fall through the cracks from time to time.

No matter how busy life gets, there is one thing you don’t want to forget about. And that is physical exercise! Staying fit is an essential building block for a strong body and long-lasting health, and the benefits are endless. Did you know that 1 hour of regular exercise each day will not only build stronger bones and muscles but also help you to sleep better? With exercise, you will increase your energy, build confidence and strengthen your immune system (which means you are less likely to catch that nasty cold from friends).

For teenagers, doctors recommend about 1 hour of moderate exercise each day. More importantly, changing up your activities to maintain a balance between aerobics, strength training, and flexibility serves your body best. But why is that important?

For starters, aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, improves lung capacity (or ability to breathe well) and circulation. Activities such as riding your bike with friends or taking the dog for a run fall under this category. Strength training builds muscle mass, endurance and improves your body’s ability to burn fat. It also helps to protect your spine and supporting joints! Activities such as push-ups or squats in your living room, monkey bars or climbing at the playground and any type of weightlifting fall under this category. Flexibility lowers your chance of injury and keeps your muscles supple. Activities such as martial arts, yoga, and gymnastics fall under this category.

As you can see, there are countless ways to fit in an hour of exercise into your day, and different types of exercise provide different benefits. Lastly, the habits that you build today as a teenager can last a lifetime so make sure you have fun along the way.

Now go get ‘em!