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Teenagers can be impressionable and more often that not are affected by modern day lifestyles and peer pressure. This can often lead to worrying low self-esteem issues relating to body image.
We asked a professional children’s fitness PT from the UAE for advice.
Question: There’s no getting away from the fact that body image can relate to a person’s self-esteem. Many adults are perfectly happy with the way they look but teenagers are more vulnerable when it comes to how they perceive their body. It’s not a bad thing to want to look good but peer and product advertising pressure can lead to self-esteem issues. As a personal trainer in Abu Dhabi who works with teenagers what advice can you provide about improving physical appearance without feeling pressured to do so?
The important thing to understand is that, in those fragile years, a direct, intimate approach is crucial to explaining the correlation between body image and self-esteem.
I would focus on explaining to the young adult to bring back the attention to him/herself and to work on themselves and feeling good from inside, instead of constantly comparing themselves to other people.
That being said, health, peace of mind and knowing who they are play a huge role in looking and feeling good altogether.
Question: Although teenagers should never be made to feel ashamed for being overweight the fact is being overweight and generally not active is unhealthy and at this age it can carry through to adulthood. Do you think any age is ‘too young’ to take exercise and fitness seriously?
Children should be taught from a young age to live active lives, make healthy lifestyle choices and nourish their bodies with quality food.
However, if previous choices have made them come to a point where they are overweight and unhealthy, no age is “too young ” nor is it ever too late to make changes for the better.
Question: Low self-esteem about body image isn’t just about weight but weight, health and fitness is one of the areas that can easily be addressed. How do you think shedding a few pounds, putting on a few pounds, increasing endurance and toning the body helps with low self-esteem?
Being healthy and active makes you feel good on the inside so the changes on the body will come naturally with the process. Becoming fit and toned will definitely impact your self-esteem positively!
Question: Do you think schools could be doing more to promote a healthier lifestyle which in turn could improve teenager’s self-esteem when it comes to body image?
As institutions are where children spend most of their days, schools and their teachers must provide the young generations with substantial information
on all aspects of health and positive body image.
Question: For parents in the UAE who are seeing signs that their children are suffering from low self-esteem because of body image issues what advice can you provide?
I believe that parents should make positive example of themselves and constantly re-encourage their children and teach them that they have power to change their body, Image or anything in their life.