How do I find the best exercise program for a guy my age? Online is confusing. I have a friend who broke his back for real by trying to lift too much weight. Most guys just try to get muscles fast but not always safely I think.

Best exercise program for teens

Thanks for your question. Many people have questions about a good exercise plan.  There are so many options online and it can be tough to know what program is right for you. We’ll go over some basics below.

Benefits of Exercise

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 60 minutes of physical activity daily for 6-17 year olds. Exercise has many potential benefits including:

  • Decreasing your risk of heart problems
  • Decreasing your risk for chronic health problems
  • Improving mood
  • Improving sleep
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Strengthen your muscles

What to Know Before Starting an Exercise Program

Talk to your health care provider. It’s always a good idea to talk to your health care provider before starting an exercise program. They can make sure your body is healthy enough to start, and whether you should modify any exercise programs based on your unique health needs.

Listen to your body. You should feel like you’re working out (such as breathing heavier than normal or sweating). However you should not feel like you’re hurting your body. If an exercise hurts, STOP immediately. If you feel dizzy or have problems breathing you should also STOP immediately. These are all signs that you should talk to your health care provider.

Set small goals. If you’re not working out currently, consider starting with 30 minutes of exercise three times per week. Once you meet this goal consider increasing the amount you exercise slowly, to ultimately reaching 60 minutes every day.

What Exercise Program is Right For Me

Generally a good exercise program will include cardio (exercises that will increase your heart rate) and strengthening. It’s a good idea to mix up your exercises so that you work different parts of your body, and don’t cause too much stress to one specific area of your body such as your biceps.

For some ideas about strengthening exercises, check out our muscle fitness guide.

A great way to get exercise is through sports. Consider joining a school or local community team.

Your healthcare provider or school nurse can also be a great resource. They may know of local exercise programs for teens.

Should I Take Protein or Muscle Building Supplements

Protein is an important part of your diet. The best way to get protein is through food.

Unfortunately dietary supplements are not well regulated. This means that protein supplements can be contaminated with other products. Protein supplements have also been associated with health problems, such as liver and kidney injury.

If you’re thinking about taking a protein or muscle building supplement make sure to talk to your health care provider.