ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With summer break being just around the corner, students are preparing to get out of school and relax. 

“I have kids, and they like to play on their iPad and on their video games, as well. But me as a parent, I know how important it is for them to get moving,” says Brandon Osborne, Executive Director of Abilene Youth Sports Authority. 

Osborne says he noticed this last year, as there was a decrease in students attending their summer events. 

“People just wanted to breathe a little bit, and just go, ‘I just want to relax and stay at home,’” Osborne says. 

He puts together events every summer, allowing youth to get active in a fun way. Their summer programs usually involve volleyball or basketball, and they are incorporating even more programs to motivate youth to get active this summer. An example of this is the feeding program that they have added, where adolescents can eat for free. 

Dr. Lindsay Spindler, kinesiology professor at Hardin Simmons University, says that although everyone should be active, it is especially important for this age group to prioritize their physical health. 

“If you can establish habits as a younger person, then that will hopefully carry on as you get older,” says Dr. Spindler. 

She says that adolescents prioritizing their physical health can prevent cardiovascular disease as well as lower body fat because body fat levels are increasing and activity levels are decreasing within the population.

This could also help improve mental health in teenagers, as depression rates are continuing to increase. 

Chantelle Lancaster, Director of Fletcher Fitness Center at HSU, says youth should get active in fun ways to find motivation. 

“You don’t need a gym membership. You don’t need a fancy facility to get active,” Lancaster says. 

Lancaster also explains that adolescents need support from other people to push them to get physical activity in for the day. She mentions activities such as going to the park, the swimming pool, or getting involved in programs such as AYSA’s summer programs. 

For more information about AYSA summer programs, click here