How can I get my daughter to exercise?
Asked by on May 11, 2009
in Family & Pregnancy
My 16 yr old daughter eats junk food, and basically will not exercise. She complains she's fat all the time. I try to encourage her to take care of herself for health purposes, without inferring she is overweight. She is 5'6 and 160lbs with a medium frame. How can I help her, without bringing her down, yet get her to realize the health benefits of exercise? Her father's side of the family has some extremely obese members. My side of the family has some overweight members but no one is obese. I am not heavy and I exercise 3-4 times per week. I try to get her to exercise with me. Needless to say, she is not interested.
For inactive teens who are not ready to change, start by identifying the current barriers and think of ways to overcome them. For instance, barriers are usually "not enough time" and "no access" to facilities. Girls often think that activity is limited to organized sports, but walking for transportation, bicycling, dancing, skating and phys ed class all count. Will she play badminton or volleyball with you in the yard where no one can see? Do any of her friends exercise? Perhaps her pediatrician can help you out. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises all adolescents, not just the overweight, to get 60 minutes of moderate physical activity everyday, and three or more sessions a week of vigorous activity that lasts at least 20 minutes. Vigorous activity includes running, step aerobics, spinning, etc.