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Health Tips for Teens Part 2

The teenage years are a period of intense physical, emotional, mental and intellectual growth. It’s also a time when your child develops habits that can last a lifetime. You can help your teenager reach optimal growth and development by instilling lifestyle habits that support a healthy and happy body.

Health is a state of physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is the key to living a productive and satisfying life.

Teens don’t always have the easiest time taking care of themselves. After all, they have other concerns – like dating, playing games, Chatting and schoolwork. But adopting a few good habits will help keep them healthy and happy not just now but as they grow into adulthood.

You can break down the concept of health into different categories. These could include physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health. There are things any person can do to stay healthy in these areas. But as a teenager, there are some things you should pay special attention to.

Wear Sunscreen:  Getting just one bad sunburn as a child or teenager increases your risk of getting skin cancer as an adult.

Don’t try to take on too much : Limit your activities to the most important ones and give those 100%. Overextending yourself can lead to stress, frustration, or exhaustion.

Know the signs of mental illness which includes – 

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • excessive tiredness
  • loss of self-esteem
  • loss of interest in things you used to like
  • loss of appetite
  • weight gain or loss
  • out-of-character personality changes.

Pay attention to your moods and feelings : Don’t assume your negative thoughts or feelings are just part of being a teenager. If you’re worried about something, ask for help. If you can’t talk to your parents, talk to your favorite teacher or counselor at school. Find an adult you can trust. If you’re feeling really sad or are thinking about harming yourself, get help right away.

Don’t bully other people : And if you are being bullied, tell a parent, teacher, or other adult. This includes being bullied online or on your phone.

Avoid substance use or abuse : This includes alcohol, street drugs, other people’s prescription drugs, drinking habit and any type of tobacco product.

Avoid Violence :  Stay away from situations where violence or fighting may cause you to be physically injured.

At my age, what should I especially be concerned about : The top killers of teenagers and young adults are car accidents, unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide. Cancer and heart disease are uncommon, but can affect you at this age. Unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections can harm your health. They can also cause you social and personal problems.

Will the habits I have now really make a difference when I’m older : Yes; 65% of all deaths in adults are caused by heart disease, Cancer, and Stroke. In many cases, these diseases are preventable. Many of the behaviors that cause these diseases begin at a young age. For example, teens who use tobacco are more likely to have heart disease, cancer, or stroke in adulthood.

Realize that you control what goes into your body : It’s easy to blame others (hello, fast-food restaurants) for why we have an obesity problem. But the fact is that, even with lots of outside influences, you still have the choice about what you do or do not eat, drink, or smoke.

Realize that its never too late to start adopting healthy habits : You get a do-over. Even if you’ve spent your childhood on a diet of soda and chips, it’s not too late to make a change to get your body in a better place. It takes only two weeks to form a habit, so simple changes now will pay great dividends down the road. Start simple (try some raw veggies to get your crunch fix) and build up.

Walk 10,000 steps a day ; They don’t have to be all at once (but heck, you probably do a chunk of it at school every day). Make it a point to be active and get your body moving. Setting a tangible goal (like 10,000 steps a day) is a great way to start if you’re not already active.

Have one buddy who shares your ideals about living a healthy lifestyle : Find a friend who you’re comfortable talking with about healthy habits. Social networks (the live and in-person ones!) are so important to helping you develop self-esteem and a value system. Find positive people around you who can support you and share some of your goals.

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If you’re a typical teenager with parents who always nag you about what you eat, how you eat, when you eat or don’t eat, and the amount of junk food you consume, these comments will sound familiar to you. Give your parents a break, they are just doing their job. They want you to eat properly so you’ll develop, be healthy, and keep your moods balanced.

Your body needs certain nutrients to feel well as you go through each day. The most important meal is breakfast, even though it’s probably the most difficult for many teenagers. Breakfast is even more important if you aren’t eating lunch on a regular basis, and are waiting until after school or until dinner to eat.

Avoid the major categories of unhealthy food : Stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar, added syrup, non-100 percent whole grains. Start looking at food labels and trying to ID these unhealthy foods and ingredients.

Eat cruciferous vegetables : Enjoy some cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, and arugula three times a week. They’re disease-fighters, they’ll fill you up, and the crunch will help take the edge off about that math test tomorrow.

Take a multivitamin : Take a multivitamin every day and get your recommended daily amount of calcium through food or supplements as well as vitamin D and omega-3 fats.

Floss and brush your teeth atleast two minutes twice a day : Not only do they play a major  role in your appearance (you are eating broccoli now, right?), but they also help cut down the risk of diseases you’re going to be worrying about later in life.

Have your waist size equal or less than half of your height ( Inches )  :  Try not to obsess over your weight (in fact, it’s better to have a healthy range of ideal weight, so you can account for natural body fluctuations). But the best number to determine whether you’re a healthy size is using that formula. So if you’re 66 inches tall, your waist should be under 33 inches.

Sleep 9 to  10 hours a night  : Sleep nine to ten hours a night (in greater than 90-minute blocks). To create a better sleep environment, keep your room cool, don’t do any work on your bed, and limit the use of electronic equipment (especially your phone) so close to bedtime.

Exercise nearly every day : Do some kind of exercise nearly every day, including some form of resistance exercise and cardiovascular exercise. Stay active, be active, sweat a little. Choose activities that you have fun with – keeping activity fun is one of the best ways to maintain activity over a lifetime. Dodge ball, anyone?

Do one small ( or big ) form of Stress Management every day : Maybe it’s just sitting in peace and quiet for five minutes, maybe it’s some yoga or light stretching, maybe it’s listening to music by yourself. Find something that soothes you (other than ice cream) and help clear your mind to tackle the tasks that awaits you.

Have your vaccination against major diseases up to date : You never know when sickness may hit, so it’s best to be prepared and protected. After all, schools are notorious danger zones for flu outbreaks.

Have a passion – and do it as often as you can ( safely ) : Get excited about what you do – whether it’s a sport, hobby or other activity. Do it often – just make sure you also do it safely.

Protect your ears from noise louder than lawn mover : This also means keeping your personal device on less than 70 percent of max when you use earphones

Commit  to not texting while driving : Keep your phone and other devices out of your hands while driving. Make a commitment and stick to it.

Eating healthy and being physically active are important parts of being healthy and feeling good. When you eat well your body gets the nutrients and energy you need to grow. Eating well helps you concentrate and perform better in activities that are important to you like school, sports and hobbies. Being physically active helps you stay strong and fit.  It can improve your confidence and lower your stress.

You will grow quickly between 12 and 18 years of age. Focus on your eating habits, physical activity and overall health rather than your body weight. Healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes.
Follow the five steps to healthy eating and active living below.

Find a Mentor : It may or may not be your parents, but the important thing is to find an older person who can help you reach your goals, give you advice, and who really cares about your success. A teacher, coach, or another relative can be a great options.

Practice smart internet safety : Know that what you write or post can be saved forever. Be smart about who you communicate with. It might be fun to post a picture from Spring Break on your Facebook picture.

Eliminate processed Foods : Get rid of processed foods from your diet, and substitute 100 percent whole wheat flour for white flour where you can.

Eat five servings fruits and veggies daily : New government guidelines confirm that we should all be filling half our plates with fruits and veggies a day. Include a variety of colors and kinds in your diet.

Eat fruits but skip the juice ( unless you are trying to gain weight ) : Eat fruit but not all juices are created equal. Fruit is totally healthy and contains plenty of vitamins that are good for you, but fruit juice often has a lot of unnecessary sugar. Try diluting juice with water to help reduce the calories.

Don’t squeeze Zits ( pimple ) : When you do, you risk spreading the bacteria and causing more zits. Practice good skin hygiene, washing with a “basic” soap (as opposed acidic). Simple pimples will go away soon enough; if you have serious acne problems, consider seeing a dermatologist who may be able to bring in prescription-strength reinforcements.

Wear a helmet : When you’re cycling, Rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, or rock climbing – wear a helmet. And wear a seat belt whenever you’re in a car to prevent concussions. Concussions at a young age can have lifelong negative effects on your health.

 

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