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Move In May!

It’s fitting that May is both National Physical Fitness month and National Teen Self-Esteem month. The two have a symbiotic relationship. Our teens continue to struggle with mental health and self-esteem; it’s easy to see why with the endless scroll and constant comparison to everyone else’s “perfect” life. But when our teens put the phone down and get moving, their self-confidence returns…their smiles and bright eyes return.

Research backs it up, too. Being active releases endorphins that make you happy. It’s why the walk you take when upset or struggling with an issue leaves you feeling rejuvenated, with a new perspective even if the problem isn’t solved. Adolescence has always been an awkward stage as our youth work through who they are or want to be. In today’s tech world, the pressure to “figure themselves” out and be an adult sooner rather than later amplifies their stress. As adults, we often forget they are still kids.

One of my favorite parts of leading Start 1 Spark is the interaction I have with students. I LOVE interviewing them for our monthly spark segment. They’ve been selected by their coaches and typically come over nervously not quite sure what to expect. I always conclude by asking them what they have learned about themselves…

  • “I am a leader.”

  • “I don’t give up.”

  • “I like being part of a team.”

  • “My mental health is better.”

  • “It’s really helped my confidence.

Access to physical activities and school sports is not just fun, it’s a lifeline to better overall health. Our youth need access and opportunities to play for their physical health and their mental health. Support teens and their mental health by getting them moving!

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