We all know that exercise is good for both the body and the mind, but a study featured on ScienceDaily.com says that the reason behind it may help your adolescent be more confident about himself.

Karin Monshouwer of the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands and her colleagues from Trimbos and VU University Medical Center wanted to explore the link between exercise and psychological well-being. Inviting 7,000 students between 11 and 16 years old, they surveyed their overall health, their current exercise regimen, the physical activities they indulge in, and even their socio-economic status.

Researchers discovered that the participants’ self-image and the relationships they’ve built through sports and working out are two strong points that connect exercise with psychological health. Physical activity dashes negatives thoughts such as "I'm fat and ugly," and improves an adolescent’s perception of his body and his capabilities. It also helps him create new relationships with his teammates and teaches him how to properly associate with others.

Exercise need not be a chore. Ask your child about the games or sports that he finds interesting, and let him try them out. Not only will this strengthen his body and improve his opinion of himself, but it will also teach him values such as discipline, respect, and teamwork; things that will benefit him as he grows older.

(Photo by Todd Butkowski via Flickr Creative Commons)

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