How can I motivate my teenager to go for walks?

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1. Find out what he/she likes to do next, right after the family walk.
2. Ask him/her to invite a friend to join the family walk.
3. Create the family walk as a part of a trip to a destination that he/she loves to go to.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
One of the things that I have discovered as a doctor and a parent is that children will model their parents' behavior.  As much as they try to pull away and act like they do not care, children cannot help themselves. They will follow your lead.

The best way to have your teenager go on a family walk is to start having regular family walks. They may not go initially, but eventually they will join you. Having a family dog that they love and are responsible for walking would also help motivate them to get out there with you!
Does your teenager enjoy sports? If so, bring something that can be thrown back and forth. You may have your son or daughter run around to catch the ball. Be sure you are in a safe area but this will be a great way for both of you to get great exercise and your teen will truly be pooped at the end of the walk.

Teenager not into sports? Bring them on a nature walk or play some sort of guessing game. A great game to play is “I Spy.” This game requires you choose an object, might be a car, bird plane, or any object. Next clues must be asked to guess the object, clues such as color, size, shape, etc. The harder the object to guess and the longer into your walk you will be!

Most of all have fun; simply talk with your teen about anything.
Mark Levine
Fitness
This is a tricky question because if you push to hard they will tend to rebel. As a parent of two teenage boys (one now 20 years old), I always motivated my kids by example. They would see me go on a bike ride or come home from exercise and hopefully get the idea that exercise is good. I had recently lost 17 pounds and they understood that because of my exercise program and nutrition, I was able to lose the weight.

Very rarely will teenagers follow their parents’ demands. For instance, if you told your teenager, to go for a 15-minute walk, chances are they wouldn't and even end up in an argument with you. Having said that, I would recommend that you have a weekly family walk. You would need to have a destination, such as Best Buy or Starbucks, as kids aren't crazy about walking for walkings sake. Just keep up a healthy lifestyle, and your child or children will pick up on this and end up having the same values towards health and exercise as you do.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.