10 Ways Exercise Reduces Stress In Teens

Teen life can be stressful. Here are several tips to help your teen live a healthier, happier, stress free life! from a personal trainer and nutritionist in Westfield, NJ

September 29, 2022

10 Ways Exercise Reduces Stress In Teens

As told by a personal trainer and nutritionist in Westfield, NJ

School is back! Much to the dismay of many teenagers school is, indeed, back. However with a new school year comes new experiences, new challenges, and new opportunities. Faced with the wide variety of biological and hormonal changes, along with modern challenges of social media and the societal expectation for receiving higher education teenagers have a lot to contend with.

It is no wonder why the majority of teens are plagued with stress, lack of energy, and self consciousness. However this doesn’t have to be the case. Today I’m going to show you how exercise can not only treat stress, lethargy, and improve self confidence in adolescents, but also set them up with healthy habits that they can stick with for the rest of their life.

The Dangers of Stress To Your Teen

As a society built on progress and innovation, it is no wonder why education has become increasingly important and ever expanding. Children have more to learn than ever and with college around the corner teens can often be overwhelmed with low levels of chronic stress. Low level stress is attributed to the HPA axis, which is responsible for the release of cortisol into the body. Consisting of hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, it is used as a post fight or flight response to detect any continued threats.

Overstimulation of the HPA axis in the modern day is often caused by more modern fears such as social insecurities, maintaining high grades, and uncertainty about the future. However exercise is proven to reduce levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. As well as leasing to the production of endorphins, which act as the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins work to create the "runner's high" or the feelings of relaxation and optimism that come with many hard workouts. Consistent exercise can be incredibly helpful in not only lowering stress levels in the here and now but improving stress management in general.

Need help? Consider working with a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help your teen feel better and boost confidence through higher physical ability and better discipline and focus. Working with a qualified trainer will also ensure your teen doesn't sustain an injury while exercising. Learn more on how you can work with one of our certified personal trainers.

Lowering Your Teen's Stress

Lowering stress is not only useful for its own sake but is also integral to improving sleep. Anyone who has lied awake unable to sleep the night before a big test, tryout, or job interview will know that stress and anxiety are the enemies of sleep.

Relative to other age groups, teenagers have been shown to require the most sleep  at 8-10 hours per night however most teens only get between 6.5-7.5 hours per night. This lack of sleep is often accompanied with a lack of energy during the day which contributes to the common stereotype of the lethargic teenager resistant to activity. Thankfully research shows physical activity to improve sleep onset, or how much time it takes to fall asleep, while also showing a significant decrease in the pervasion of various sleeping disorders. Similar studies point towards exercise as an effective way to increasing daytime activity levels allowing for improved learning comprehension and test taking in schools and sharpened athletic ability.

While improved sleep and lower stress levels are important for a developing adolescent, it should not be understated the challenges they often face socially and emotionally. In the world of social media, teenagers can often be found comparing themselves to people they see online and developing their identity based on what will make them more appealing to their peers.

In the APA survey on teen stress, one third to one half of teen respondents reported that social media made them feel judged or bad about themselves. The truth is that our brains often use a combination of narratives and evidence to develop a concept of ones identity. Narratives such as ‘everyone else looks so much better than me’ and evidence such as having not worked out in the past month can lead to a plethora of negative self talk. At the same time the opposite is also true, positive narratives such as ‘I feel good with how I look’ and evidence of having been consistently exercising and eating well can do wonders for self confidence. This self confidence paired with increased energy levels can permeate positivity into all aspects of life.

The transition between the carefree life of a child to that of a responsible adult can be difficult. Along with modern pressures, life as a teenager can be challenging. However with consistent exercise they can improve their ability to cope with stress, increase their energy levels during the day, and provide a heightened sense of self confidence.

Being such a formative period in ones life, it’s no wonder why habits developed during adolescence often persist well into adulthood. And with the beginning of a new school year now is a perfect time to make a change in your teen’s health and wellbeing especially if it can allow your child to live the happy vibrant life you’ve always wanted for them.

Yours in Health,

Ian Andrew,

Personal Trainer at Out Run Your Fork Personal Training and Nutrition in Westfield, NJ

PS: To learn more about how working with a personal trainer can help Increase Energy, Reduce Stress, Build Confidence and Maintain a Healthy Life, contact us


Contact Us

Out Run Your Fork
474 North Ave E
Westfield, NJ 07090



Follow Us

Get Started

If you are ready to get energized, motivated and become “Stronger Together” connect with us today to set up your FREE one-on-one consultation!