Written by Colton Rooney
Summer: exciting, idealistic, and care-free. These three words that come to mind used to describe summers as a young and naïve kid. But in reality, as adolescents mature, they are often faced with feelings of gripping isolation, a longing to match similar experiences of their peers, and a fear of upcoming school stress.
In the middle of the summer, many adolescents begin to develop feelings of rising anxiety and tension due to stress of upcoming classes in September or lack of a structured schedule. At the start of the summer, the feeling of purpose can become lost when a normalized routine and array of classes suddenly disappears in favor of complete freedom. Freedom, though seemingly appealing, can feel overwhelming to many adolescents who cannot find time-consuming work or are not busy relaxing on vacations. Similarly, with the emergence and popularity of social media, adolescents watch their peers engage in parties, long vacations, and new summer job opportunities. These feelings, known as "fear of missing out" or FOMO, can be detrimental to youth mental health. But studies support the idea that exercise is a healthy and stress-reducing escape.
Stress Relief with Consistent Workouts
Consistent exercise produces meaningful amounts of endorphins which are known to be “mood elevators” and are generally associated with an unparalleled feeling of relaxation. These feelings of relaxation are also called a “runner’s high”.
Self-image issues are unfortunately common amongst youth, especially in the gym setting. But a newly increased feeling of stamina from cardio workouts can help minimize glaring self-image issues, leading to newfound confidence.
Tightness associated with stress can also affect crucial areas of the body, such as the heart, and lead to a pounding pulse or shortness of breath. According to the American Lung Association, as physical health improves through cardio workouts, the body finds it easier to pump oxygen into the bloodstream, therefore reducing the risk of these symptoms.
Muscle tightness can also be alleviated through various aerobic exercises and post-workout breathing exercises to ease existent mental stress and potential physical pain.
Post-Workout Effects in Adolescents
Beyond short-lived stress relief from mental health struggles, a consistent workout routine offers more long-term benefits. These benefits includes higher concentration and increased alertness in social settings. Even a simple walk can help, whether it be walking the dog or admiring nature through a stroll in the local park.
Conclusively, according to the American Psychological Association, fifty-three percent of teens feel good about themselves after exercising, with a staggering thirty-seven percent reporting that they exercise for stress relief! A whopping sixty-two percent of teens report feeling that working out is crucial to living their best life, yet only fifty-one percent of adolescents feel as if they're working out correctly. This feeling of uncertainty drives many adolescents away from working out, but it does not have to be this way...
With the right support, factual information, and strong willingness to learn, you will be well on your journey to stress-relief and newfound confidence! CoreForm360 wishes you a stress-free summer and good luck in your long but rewarding fitness journey! Learn more about us here...