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POSTED: May 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Mazur on exercise: Endorphins make you happy

With fitness taking such an active role in today’s society it’s interesting to see how RHHS students, and teenagers in general, are being affected. I spoke with Allie Mazur, a senior at RHHS, about how she stays in shape while still maintaining a pristine academic record.

Q: What do you do to stay active?

A: I always make sure that I’m playing a sport or on a team. Ever since I was in about fourth or fifth grade my dad started to let me run with him, or encouraging me to run with him, and ever since I’ve run pretty much every time I have a chance. Every day after practice if I don’t feel like I’ve gotten enough of a workout, I go ahead and run, or go to the gym, or go to a class. I always look for new, different ways to work out also; like kickboxing and aerobics.

Q: How do you watch what you eat?

A: First of all my mom shops really well, and always has healthy food around the house, but most of all I just think about the quote; what you eat is what you are. I think about everything I’m putting into my body, I don’t obsess about it, but I know that in the long run it’s going to benefit my health.

Q: How do you find opportunities to stay active while juggling your academic career?

A: After school every day, being on a varsity sport, I practice and that time is for practice only. I don’t think about school until the minute I get out of practice. It’s all about prioritizing. As soon as practice is over then it’s time for academics, but I don’t let the two mix at all.

Q: How do you keep yourself accountable for exercising?

A: I feel like a lot of it’s a personal thing; a personal satisfaction that I get from exercising. Besides my dad, brother, and sister there’s never really been a friend that’s always, always been there for me, because I’ve moved around a lot and made new friends. Everyone kind of thinks I’m strange for running all the time, but at least my dad and family always support me.

Q: What advice do you have for other teens who struggle to find the time to exercise?

A: Well there really isn’t an excuse to not find time, because sometimes you can work out for thirty-five minutes and it can be a great workout. I can go to a kickboxing class at the gym and get a great workout in the morning, or like right after school, or even at like seven or eight at night. As long as you set the specific time apart, and don’t let anything else get in the way you should get a good workout, and feel good about yourself.

Q: What motivates you to exercise?

A: I think what motivates me to stay in shape is the fact that I’m really competitive, and at whatever I’m doing I want to succeed, and be the best. Even though I know it’s not reality all the time. I run to stay healthy, but I also run to race. I’ve competed in races before and I really enjoy it, and I think it’s a really good motive.

Q: How has staying active made a positive impact on your life?

A: I believe you really do get a lot of endorphins from working out, it’s a fact. So therefore whenever I get a good workout I’m happy, and I feel better about myself and about my body. Because I’ve always been in shape I’ve always been able to be competitive, and I think that’s really healthy. It’s really healthy to be on a sport, or play with a team. Being on the varsity cheerleading team, and the varsity soccer team; you make good friends, that you’ll have forever, and you’ll learn to have a competitive nature, and you get endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.

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The key to teen fitness is ...

Today’s America has turned over a whole new leaf in personal fitness by making eating right and staying in shape not only more encouraged, but fashionable. We live in the era of bottled water, salads at McDonalds, and fat free everything. However in this wellness crazed world obesity, particularly in our nation’s young people, has become a hot button issue or has at the very least been dragged to the center of the public stage. How can we combat this ‘disease’ when fast food reigns supreme in teen diets due to its unprecedented affordability and convenience? Alas, this is truly the age of the dollar menu.

In truth, we can’t completely avoid eating at fast food restaurants, and in moderation there’s nothing wrong with it in the first place. We can’t blame all of our nation’s health issues on the fast food industry. No one needs to up and boycott McDonalds for being tasty and delicious. If we want to help kids, and everyone in general, we need to focus more on teaching people healthy habits early on in their life so when they get older they naturally make healthy choices on their own. No one wants to be told how to eat or forced to exercise, but if they want to do it they’ll without doubt do it more often.

How do we accomplish this? By pushing participation in little league sports and other activities where kids are going out and exercising regularly, meeting friends, and forming habits that will become the foundation for a healthy lifestyle down the line. Parents should make sure that they have healthy foods around the house, and even more importantly, that their kids know what foods are healthy and which ones should be eaten sparingly. The key to teen fitness is a solid foundation of basic health knowhow, and having the motivation to make health conscience decisions.

 

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