The Best Physical Activities For 13-Year-Olds

Reaching the teen years can be a hard stage for kids. They’re moving away from childhood, but aren’t quite ready to be adults.

For many 13-year-olds, this can mean they’re less likely to get out and participate in the activities they used to enjoy.

13-year-olds dancing

And in our modern age, with technology being so readily available, getting a young teen out of their room and away from their screens can seem almost impossible.

That’s why finding fun, age-appropriate physical activities for 13-year-olds can be so important.

Planning regular activities that 13-year-olds tend to enjoy is a great way to help teens get moving, improve self-esteem, and let them socialize with their friends.

If you’re wondering what activities might be best for your 13-year-old, one of these fun physical activities for 13-year-olds is likely to be a hit:

Why Plan Physical Activities for 13 Year Olds?

While finding fun ways to be active is important for everyone, it can be especially beneficial for children and teens.

Regular exercise helps help improve mental health, build social skills, and enhance academic performance. Additionally, it can promote feelings of self-esteem and worthiness.

All of these benefits can be especially important for 13-year-olds, as they’re dealing with changes in their hormones and their bodies during adolescence.

The teenage years can also be a crucial time for developing healthy habits that will last into adulthood.


How Much Exercise Do 13-Year-Olds Need?

The recommended amount of exercise for 13-year-olds is at least 60 minutes per day.

However, depending on their schedule, this can be broken up into smaller chunks of time throughout the day, such as 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or evening.

There’s no perfect time of day to get exercise, so there’s nothing wrong with letting your teen decide when they’re going to get their body moving.

As long as they’re meeting that goal of an hour a day or more, they’re helping ensure their present and future good health.

What Activities Will 13-Year-Olds Enjoy?

The best way to ensure your child is getting enough exercise each day is to make sure to choose a physical activity that they love.

Wondering what activities might be a good fit for your young teen? These six activities for 13-year-olds are a great starting point:

zack pitching baseball

Team Sports

One of the most fun and easy ways to ensure your young teen is getting the physical activity they need is with team sports.

The great thing about being part of a team is that it’s such a social way to get exercise and learn some new skills.

Consider signing your 13-year-old up for local youth league, or see if your child’s school offers any extra-curricular sports they might be interested in.

When it comes to teen sports, there’s plenty of different options to choose from. And sometimes, picking a sport that compliments your child’s natural build can be a great idea.

For example, the average height for 13-year-olds is between 58-60 inches. If your child far exceeds this, basketball might be a great team sport to try.

Or, if your child has an especially sturdy and muscular build, then a sport like football or hockey could let them develop their natural strengths.

Other team sports young teens might enjoy include volleyball, badminton, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse.

Rock Climbing

If your teen is the adventurous type, rock climbing can be a great way to get them moving while also indulging their love for excitement.

Indoor rock climbing facilities have become more and more popular in recent years, since they let kids and adults of all ages improve their skills in a safe environment.

Consider signing your 13-year-old up for lessons if they’re new to rock climbing. If they’ve already had some past experience, then looking into a monthly drop-in membership may be a better option.

Either way, your teen will be getting the chance to improve strength, flexibility, and balance as they challenge themselves to reach those summits.

dad and daughter hiking

Hiking and Camping

For those that love spending time in the great outdoors, hiking and camping are sure to be popular activities for 13-year-olds.

One of the great things about hiking is that it can be done almost anywhere, and can be as easy or as challenging as your teen wishes.

For a great family bonding experience, plan to head out on a camping trip in an area with some great hiking trails.

Outdoorsy kids tend to love getting the chance to sleep in a tent and cook over a fire, and spending time in nature together can be educational as well as great exercise.

If your teen has a group of friends that also enjoy being out in nature, you may even want to consider arranging an annual group hiking and camping trip.

They’ll be able to connect with each other in the great outdoors and make memories with one another that they’ll keep for a lifetime.


Of all the water sports activities that people enjoy, swimming is easily the most popular.

It’s a low-impact activity that improves cardiovascular health and helps build muscle while still being easy on the joints.

And, of course, on a scorching hot summer day, it’s also a great way to cool off!

If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, or is getting back into the water after a swimming pool accident, then starting off with some basic swimming lessons is a good way to help them build confidence as they exercise.

If they’ve already mastered the basics of swimming, then look into diving lessons or water polo to help them have even more fun in the water.


Most 13-year-olds love the added independence that the teen years brings, and biking is a great way to make the most of that independance.

Not only is it a great way to get exercise every day, it’s also a great way to get around!

If your location and the weather permits, encourage your child to bike to and from school each day. Getting that extra exercise every morning and afternoon is a great mood booster and stress reliever.

Teens may also enjoy biking to nearby friends’ houses, or to the store to run small errands.

Just make sure that you also teach your children the basics of bike safety, including how to use proper biking signals and the importance of always wearing a helmet.

Mom and daughter doing yoga


The teen years can be incredibly stressful, which is why starting a simple yoga routine can be so valuable.

Yoga improves your body’s strength, flexibility, and balance, but its focus on breathing and slow, controlled movements means that it also encourages relaxation and mental clarity.

Many team sports actually incorporate yoga into their warm-up and cool-down routines already.

But, if your teen wants to get even more involved in yoga, consider finding a routine that the two of you can do at home together.

There are a variety of simple yoga challenges available for free online, with a different yoga workout to try each day.

Ending a busy day with some family yoga is something that everyone in the household can benefit from.

And with no equipment required, it’s a great at-home activity to help ensure that your 13-year-old gets some movement in, even on busy days.

How To Encourage Teens To Be Physically Active

There’s no question that teens can be stubborn at times.

But even if your 13-year-old tends to resist any kind of physical activities, there are ways that you can help encourage them.

One of the best encouragements, as is often the case with parenting, is to lead by example.

When your child sees you getting out of the house and having fun as you exercise, they’ll be more likely to pick up those same habits.

If your child is the competitive type, then encouraging that side of their personality can be a great motivator.

Look into enrolling them for local races and competitions, so they can show off their skills as they strive to come out on top.

Finally, making activities as social as possible is always a good motivator.

Whether you plan hikes or bike rides for the family, or set up a fun sports game with your teen and all their friends, having the chance to socialize as well as exercise can make physical activity much more fun.

teenagers outdoors

There’s no question that getting proper daily exercise has numerous benefits, from improving strength and muscle tone to boosting self-esteem to relieving stress.

That being said, making sure that your 13-year-old is participating in an activity that they truly enjoy is a must for helping them continue to be active in the years to come.

There are plenty of different activities for 13-year-olds to choose from, so encourage them to share their thoughts on sports and activities they’re interested in.

And there’s no reason they can’t try a few different things until they find something they’re passionate about, either!

With your support, your young teen will be much more likely to find an activity that they enjoy and that is beneficial for their health.

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