The Bible says: “Bodily training is beneficial.” (1 Timothy 4:8) Yet, many young ones who say “I need to exercise” just don’t seem too eager to follow through.

“You wouldn’t believe how many kids failed gym when I was in high school. It was the easiest class, next to lunch!”​—Richard, 21.

“Some think, ‘Why run around outside in the hot sun until you’re sweaty and tired when you can play a video game that allows you to pretend you’re someone else doing that?’ ”​—Ruth, 22.

If you feel similarly, consider three payoffs to having a good exercise program.

Payoff 1. Exercise boosts your immune system. My father always said, ‘If you can’t find time to exercise, you’d better find time to be sick,’ ” says 19-year-old Rachel.

Payoff 2. Exercise releases chemicals into the brain that calm you. Running is a good release when I have a lot on my mind,” says Emily, aged 16. “Physically I feel refreshed, and emotionally it’s a great relief.

Payoff 3. Exercise can increase your fun. I love the outdoors,” says Ruth, “so my exercise includes hiking, swimming, snowboarding, and biking.

Secret to Success: Devote at least 20 minutes three times a week to a vigorous physical activity that you enjoy.

Remember this: While genetics play a role, your physical condition is often determined by the lifestyle you choose. So when you say “I need to exercise,” the choice is yours; you can do something about it!