The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth

Get active and put a Spring in your step

By Jasmine Williamson (Douglass High School)

The reason people work out varies from person to person. The spring season has arrived and it’s time to get in shape. Whether your aim is to get the perfect beach body, or to be ready for track, softball and baseball etc, it’s time to get back on your A game and get that body in tiptop shape.The first thing is setting a goal and sticking to it.

Robyn Swift, a 10th grade English teacher at Douglass High and personal trainer said, “Wellness for exercise and diet is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix”.

Meaning if you really want to lose weight and get in shape you should commit to it. Yes, this can be challenging but with you in your right mind it is possible. Being mentally stable plays a big role in getting in shape believe it or not.

You have to have strong endurance and perseverance. Now if you have a stable mindset you can start small. Start with your diet: Watch what’s on food labels and really look at the ingredients. Swift said that you should stay away from carbs, fast foods such as McDonalds, Taco Bell and many others but also sweets and fatty foods like fried chicken. It’s very important to know your sugar intake and your daily calorie intake. It all depends on your weight and height. If you’re on a 2,000-calorie per day diet then you have to steadily watch what you put in your mouth especially if you are an athlete. Certain foods could give you cramps before a big game. Avoid greasy foods for sure. Those foods need time to process and digest and there won’t be time for it to break down before an important game.

Student athletes have made a priority to stay fit because of what their sports means to them.

Monterius Freeman, quarterback at for the Douglass football team said, “I love football. I look at football as my only ticket out of the hood. I work hard every day to make sure I’m the best at football for my school.”

Other tips for students and student athletes alike include avoiding energy drinks. Yes, for the moment they sound and taste great if your looking for a quick fix but really they are not too beneficial for you. They have a significant amount of caffeine in them and this can cause a lot of stress on the heart, which could eventually lead to other health problems. What can you eat? Oranges, pears, bananas, and vegetables. Now that you know what to eat, you need to exercise along with eating healthy. Depending on the sport, simple exercises such as running up and down the stairs works. Swift recommended doing strength training such as lifting weights or even just throwing the ball to strengthen your throw, and strength exercises are well-documented to assist in weight loss too.

Upper body exercises are a must, which help with batting and also throwing. Swift also recommended doing calisthenics. Calisthenics involves gymnastics movements to help you move more gracefully across the field from left to right, back and forth, and side-to-side. Doing those exercises for an hour a day maybe 15 minutes for each, will definitely help with getting back to the game.

Baseball and softball are both sports that require upper body strength. But there are more benefits besides the physical ones.

Te’a Wilson, a junior at Douglass said, “You can learn a lot from softball such as patience, being responsible. It also helps you get fit, be healthy, and manage your weight. Softball taught me how to be patient and be more fit.”

If you’re more of a track person of course running and cardiovascular exercises are your main priority. Going for a jog around the block, doing aerobic exercises can remind your body that the time is coming. Of course conditioning also plays a big role in all of this. Conditioning can vary from coach to coach and sport to sport but most likely they all involve running. Picking certain days to do activate specific muscular groups is also a great help. Sometimes doing the same routine can get old so mix it up a little, as progress is harder to see when your body gets used to performing the same exercises and routines. For example, work on your upper body on Mondays. Lift weights on Tuesdays and maybe walk around the block. On Wednesday, work on your back and core such as doing sit ups. Thursday work on your legs maybe does some bicycle kicks and Friday can be a rest day.

Here are five main points to keep in mind and stay on track. 1. Stick with one goal at a time 2. Stay motivated 3. Plan appropriately 4. Stay mentally stable. 5. And most importantly: BE HAPPY.


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This entry was posted on April 9, 2015 by in Features, News, Sports and tagged , , , , , .


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