Fitness for Teenagers During the Pandemic

By: NATALIA PATTERSON

Due to the pandemic, many activities involving physical engagement had to be discontinued, and the amount everyone is exercising has decreased. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day for adults and 60 minutes for kids and teenagers. In addition, this amount of exercise is shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can be very important during these uncertain times. What kinds of activities can students still participate in to remain engaged in fitness?

Some recreational programs in the city of Benicia are still holding classes. Some of these classes are online, while others are in-person with masks and social distancing measures in place. These classes are for both the youth and adult age groups, and they include activities such as running and conditioning for sports. Also, the skate park, tennis and basketball courts in Benicia are still open.

An example of a student that had to adapt her normal exercise routine during the pandemic is Gillian Mead, a freshman at Benicia High School. Before COVID-19, she participated in dance at the Benicia Academy of Performing Arts and was on the Benicia Middle School basketball team. While basketball did not continue during the pandemic, her dance classes were moved to an outdoor studio and are currently being held with health regulations in place. Though she is getting “less exercise than before,” she predicts that these classes will “still help me improve my technical skills for dancing.”

So, even though many of our sports and activities have been impacted by the pandemic, there are still many opportunities that we can take advantage of to stay engaged and healthy.

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