Teenage Exercise Program Interview

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Interview with expert Jane Foody

In this teenage exercise program interview, you will learn what you need to know before starting an exercise program, the benefits of exercising, and how to create a program that will keep you active and fit.

Teenage Exercise Program Interview: About Jane Foody

Jane Foody is a registered yoga teacher recognized nationally by Yoga Alliance. She teaches people to become certified yoga instructors and trains private clients. Presently, she is in her second year of graduate school on her way to becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists, Yoga Alliance, American Physical Therapy Association, and the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.

Before You Begin a Teenage Exercise Program

What should a teenager know before starting a teenage exercise program?

  • Wear supportive sneakers

Everyone that exercises should always wear supportive sneakers that feel snug on the foot and supportive around the ankle. You want to have supportive sneakers in order to keep your joints healthy and well. Remember that the joints you have now will be the joints you will have for the rest of your life. You should get new sneakers about every 300 to 400 miles that you walk or run on them.

  • Do what you enjoy

Everyone can find an exercise to enjoy. You are more likely to be consistent and regular with an exercise if you really love it. If you love to dance then dance, if you love to play basketball, then play basketball. If haven't yet found an exercise that you really enjoy, keep on experimenting with all the many different forms of working out, until you find one.

  • Stop when you feel pain

Don't believe in the saying, 'No pain, No gain'. Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. A little muscle soreness is okay from time to time but you should never feel pain in any of your joints or bones. You are responsible for your body's well being and health. You know better than anyone else what you are feeling. Never allow anyone, even your team coach or your parents to force you to continue to do an exercise if you are hurt or in pain.

  • Calculate your target heart rate

Everyone that is going to exercise should know how to calculate his/her target heart rate and take his/her own pulse. It's very simple to calculate your target heart rate and the math is very easy.

  1. Take 220 and subtract your age.
  2. Take your answer from when you subtracted your age from 220 and multiply that number by 75 percent.
  3. The number you get from the above step is a rough approximation of a 15-year-old's target heart rate.

The average teen's target heart rate is about 154 beats per minute.

When you exercise, you can now monitor your heart rate to get the maximum benefit from your workout and stay safe.

Benefits of Keeping Fit

What are the benefits of using an exercise program?

There are many benefits. Some are:

  • Healthy skin- When you sweat your body can detoxify and get rid of the toxins clogging your pores. Make sure you wash your face with cold water after you exercise.
  • Happiness - When you exercise you are doing something positive for yourself and this is an esteem able act that will make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Endorphins are released when you work out. Endorphins are your body's natural feel good chemicals.
  • Better Memory and Focus - When you exercise you improve your circulation and blood flow and your brain needs fresh blood and nutrients to function optimally.
  • Stronger Body - If you train your muscles regularly it's only natural for your body to become stronger and fitter.
  • Reduced Stress - When you have tests, relationship problems, worries and concerns there is no better way to burn off the tension and release stress than by exercising!
  • Stronger Bones - When you exercise you bear weight and this builds stronger bones. Osteoporosis rears it's ugly head in the elderly, but keeping your bones strong or allowing them to become weak and brittle begins at a very young age. What you do now will be your greatest blessing or your greatest regret. Remember, the body you are in now is the same body that you will have for the rest of your life.

Getting Started

What types of exercises should a teenager include?

For a well-rounded exercise program, you should have components of stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercise. Yoga is a fantastic exercise that includes cardiovascular, stretching, strengthening and relaxation. Yoga also doesn't require much space or any equipment. If you have a little bit of floor space, you can even practice yoga in your bedroom.

How does a teenager create a work out program?

  1. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down your fitness goals.
  2. Write down the exercises you already know that you like and dislike.
  3. Decide in advance what days and at what times you are going to exercise.
  4. Create a program that includes exercises that warm-up your joints, stretches your muscles, strengthens your muscles and makes you sweat out toxins.
  5. Do different exercises and experiment with your program until you find ones that you enjoy doing and at the same time meet your fitness goal requirements.

Always write down and record the exercise you do every day so in time you can increase your repetitions, your speed, or intensity and see your progress.

What is an example of a fitness program for teens?

Monday from 3:30 - 4:30: Cardio - Alternate between running and walking on the track or treadmill

Tuesday 3:30 - 5:00 Strength training - Do 3 sets of 5 to 20 repetitions of each of the following:

  • Pushups
  • Alternating leg lifts
  • Balance exercises such as the Yoga Tree pose, Yoga Crescent pose, Yoga Boat Pose
  • Resistance band exercises

Wednesday 3:30 - 4:30 Fun Cardio Day - Play or go do something with some friends or family. You can put dancing, softball, swimming, soccer, hiking or whatever you enjoy here.

Friday 3:30 - 4:30 Cardio - Alternate between running and walking on the track or treadmill

Saturday 3:30 - 4:30 - Strength training - Do 3 sets of 5 to 20 repetitions of the exercises you did on Tuesday.

Sunday Fun Cardio Day - Play or go do something fun with friends or family.

If a teen wants to lose weight, what should be included in his/her work out routine?

If you want to be lighter, first lose the word lose! If you lose something, don't you usually hope to find it again? Having a positive mental attitude is the keystone to your success. Remind yourself daily that you are in the process of becoming stronger and fitter. You can even write that down somewhere to inspire you throughout the day. Remember what you are moving towards, which means calling yourself fat, will only make you fatter! Tell yourself you are in the process of getting stronger and fitter.

Nutrition experts tell us that one pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. If you starve yourself though, your body's metabolism will slow down, your body will eventually cling to your weight, and you're unlikely to have any long lasting or positive results with the starvation method.

Let's say you want to release 10 pounds. If you eat 2,000 calories a day that means you are eating about 14,000 calories a week. If you were to exercise off just 200 calories a day and cut 150 calories from your diet (cutting 150 calories could be as easy as drinking water instead of soda) you would lose about three pounds in a month and would be 10 pounds lighter in just four months.

If you are looking for dramatic results, you can use math to figure out what you need to do with your diet and exercise just by knowing that one pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. It's really very important to remember that you don't want to release the weight too quickly because you probably aren't a fan of stretch marks or saggy loose skin. Losing more than one to two pounds a week, is not ideal for most people.

If a teenager wants to build muscle and increase strength, what should be included in his/her exercise program?

Isometric exercises are best for teenagers who want to increase their strength and muscle mass but don't want to stunt their growth. Weight training can sometimes stunt your growth, so you should be careful with using weights until you are sure you are done growing. The best way to build muscle and strength is to:

  • Do resistance exercises using your own body weight such as pushups, pull-ups, leg lifts, lunges, etc.
  • Get a resistance band and do resistance band exercises
  • Speed walk up hill or on an inclination on a treadmill

Internet Resources to Include in Your Exercise Program

How can teens find out more about the exercises they would like to include in their workout program?


To learn more about Jane Foody and yoga, visit her on YouTube.

Teenage Exercise Program Interview