9 Active Gifts to Get Your Teen Moving

  • teen, teenagers, group of teens, happy
    Shift Your Teen's Focus
    Americans ages 8 to 18 spend nearly 7-1/2 hours each day staring at a TV, computer, video game, or other media. How do you peel them off the couch? An active gift can encourage physical activity. Here are nine ideas for your teen.

  • Wear Protective Clothing
    Make a Fashion Splash
    Outfit your fashion-forward teen with something new…a swimsuit, a pair of athletic shoes, or cute yoga capris, for example. If your teens cringe at your clothing choices, get them a gift certificate to a sporting goods or sportswear store so they can pick out what they like.

  • View from back of young Caucasian woman lifting weights at gym
    Lean Toward Extreme
    What's your teen's extreme dream? Rock climber? Kickboxer? Snowboarder? Give a gift certificate for a private lesson. And a bonus for parents—shh, don't tell your teen—is that lessons help prevent injuries.

  • family mountain biking
    Encourage Independence
    Get your teen a sweet two-wheeled ride. Give a mountain bike if you live around gravel roads or trails, a racing bike for competitive teens. Choose a sport bike (a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike) for versatility. Don't forget to buy a helmet, too. If the routes are safe, your teen may be able to ride to school or to friends' houses—no car ride from Mom or Dad required.

  • Aerobic Dance Class at the Gym
    Dance to the Music
    Dancing has come a long way since the box step. Give a gift certificate for salsa dance lessons or Irish set dancing. Or give your teen a gift certificate for an aerobic dance class, which will really get her heart rate up. Aerobic dance classes can be inspired by ballet, country line dancing, and even hip-hop.

  • family playing video games, video games, tv, game, family,
    Let the Games Begin
    If your kids have been begging you unsuccessfully for a Nintendo Wii, you may want to reconsider. Active games like Wii Sports can burn calories and are far better than sitting on the couch. Other active games include Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution, and EyeToy.

  • smiling college students, student, college, healthy, ms
    Follow the Crowd
    Encourage positive—and active—friendships. Give your teen a gift certificate to go bowling, paintballing, or ice skating with friends.

  • Get Sporty
    Feel the Beat
    Give an mp3 player and sport arm band to listen to favorite tunes while running or hitting the weights. Lightweight wireless headphones also have built-in mp3 players. Studies have shown that listening to music while working out improves athletic performance—perfect for teens involved in school sports. And if your teen doesn't enjoy working out, research shows that music makes exercise feel easier.

  • Avoid Contact Sports
    Gift the Gear
    Get your teen in the game with sporting equipment like a basketball, tennis racket, or football. Or give golf clubs and teach your teen how to play. A beginner won't need a whole set—a driver, putter, and either a 5, 6 or 7 iron will do. Used sporting goods stores offer great deals.

  • Play Ping Pong
    Make Room for Fun
    Make your yard a teenage playground. Install a basketball hoop on the side of your garage. Or put a volleyball net in a grassy area in your back yard. Join in yourself for some healthy family competition.

9 Active Gifts to Get Your Teen Moving

About The Author

  1. Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8–18-Year-olds. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Healthy Kids. Healthy Families. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.; Human Joysticks. M. Anders. American Council on Exercise. ACE Fitness Matters. September/October 2007, pp. 7-9.
  2. Tips for Families. U.S. Department of Agriculture.; Tips for Parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.; As Good as the Real Thing? M. Anders. American Council on Exercise. ACE Fitness Matters. July/August 2008, pp. 7-9.
  3. Fitness. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/english/healthy-living/fitness/pages/default.aspx
  4. What is Aerobic Dancing? American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. (http://www.aapsm.org/aerobics.html
  5. Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/barriers.html)
  6. Fitness. Girlshealth.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.girlshealth.gov/fitness/index.html
  7. Dance as a Form of Exercise. Z. Bremer. British Journal of General Practice. February 1, 2007, vol. 57, no.535, p. 325b. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2034191
  8. Music in Sport and Exercise: An Update on Research and Application. C. Karageorghis and D.L. Priest. The Sport Journal. 2008, vol. 11, no. 3. http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/music-sport-and-exercise-update-research-and-application

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Jun 5
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