Ep 262: Built to Move: Healthy Teens

Kelly and Juliet Starrett, authors of Built To Move, highlight the significance of physical activity, especially among teens. Being healthy is not only about exercising once per day for 45 minutes—Kelly and Juliet advocate for building movement into your day. 

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Full Show Notes

Raising teenagers is exhausting. As parents, we’re often overwhelmed juggling work, household duties, keeping up with kids’ busy schedules, and trying to keep our own sanity intact. Self-care goes out the window, and before we know it, we’re burnt out, injured, or sick.

We know we “should” make time to exercise and eat right — but finding time is easier said than done. However, what if small, sustainable movement habits could give us the energy, focus and durability we need to weather life’s stressors and model healthy lifestyles for our teens?

This week we’re talking all about the power of movement with Juliet Starrett and Kelly Starrett, authors of the new book Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully. Juliet and Kelly are movement and mobility experts who have spent decades working with elite athletes and organizations. They’re here to breakdown how small movement practices throughout your day can have big impacts on health.

Why We Need to Move More

Here’s a concerning stat: the average American teenager spends just 40-80 minutes per day outdoors. This lack of movement and nature exposure sets teens up for poor health outcomes. As Kelly and Juliet explain, our bodies need regular movement and time outside to function properly. Otherwise, we adapt to live a “sedentary lifestyle”.

In fact, research shows that sitting for more than 6 hours per day can negatively impact how our bodies metabolize fats and sugars, hurt brain function, increase disease risk, and limit our sleep quality. We might make time for exercise, but if we spend the rest of our waking hours inactive, it simply isn’t enough.

The good news? Adding more movement throughout our day doesn’t require intense exercise regimens. Light activity like walking, stretching, squatting and spending more time upright makes a measurable difference. Juliet and Kelly suggest simple habits like walking meetings, family movement breaks, and getting outside in nature more often.

10 Essential Movement Habits

In Built to Move, Juliet and Kelly outline 10 essential habits that families can build to incorporate more movement, like:
  1. Aim for 6 Hours or Less of Sitting Per Day
  2. Schedule Walking Meetings
  3. Take Regular Movement Breaks
  4. Prioritize Quality Sleep
  5. Spend Time Outside Each Day
  6. Incorporate Squatting in Your Routine
  7. Schedule Dedicated Recovery Days
  8. Practice Shoulder Mobility Daily
  9. Drink More Water
  10. Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods
These habits might seem basic, but they work synergistically to create energy, improve sleep quality, reduce injury risk and make our bodies more resilient to handle life’s curveballs. They’re designed to be simple, sustainable practices we can fit into our regular routines without added hassle.

In our interview, Kelly and Juliet walk through each habit in more detail, explaining the reasoning and science behind their recommendations. They also share tips for realistically applying these habits as busy parents and professionals.

Modeling Healthy Movement

Teaching healthy movement habits doesn’t stop with us — we need to model these behaviors for our teens as well. As Kelly and Juliet explain, the household is the center of change. We can’t rely on institutions like schools to instill healthy practices in teenagers. Leading by example is key.

Luckily, the movement habits Juliet and Kelly recommend set families up for success. Taking regular movement breaks, walking meetings and getting outside are practices the whole family can do together. Not only will these habits provide health benefits for teens, but they’ll also help families bond.

Modeling healthy movement and self-care shows teenagers that things like sleep, nutrition and activity aren’t just obligations — they can be fun too. Building these habits into family time teaches teens sustainable wellness practices they can carry into adulthood.

In the Episode...

My conversation with Juliet and Kelly gave me simple, sustainable ideas to improve family health through movement. We also discuss:
  • How movement affects focus, stress and sleep quality
  • Why teens need time outside and in nature daily
  • How to realistically apply movement habits as busy parents
  • Why families should approach wellness together
Check out Juliet and Kelly’s new book Built to Move for even more great insights! Thanks for listening... don’t forget to subscribe!

Creators and Guests

Andy Earle
Host
Andy Earle
Host of the Talking to Teens Podcast and founder of Write It Great
Ep 262: Built to Move: Healthy Teens
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