Healthy Tips for Teens

Dana is a 16 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.

Health, tips, teensIt is said that as time progresses America’s youth gets bigger, literally. The obesity rate in children is increasingly larger than what it used to be and parents are constantly being criticized for not providing an active enough lifestyle for their children. However, I think that efforts over the past few years made by the consumer industry are really helping out the problem. For example, the weight of kids in America went up when they were sitting around all day doing what kids like to do, playing video games. Now, though, we have things like the Wii (an interactive game system), calorie counting apps for the iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or laptop, teen weight loss support groups, etc. Here are some healthy tips that worked for me and I believe will work for any teenager; and get this, they’re all “cool” ways to do it that are even fun for your child. This article isn’t aimed at weight loss, it is so teens and kids alike can achieve overall health in trendy ways.

Exercise at least 30-60 minutes a day.
In the world we live in today, I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no reason teenagers cant exercise daily, and I’m not just talking about parking your car a little further so you have a hike to the store your going in. I am talking real exercise. Even if it is just going for a run or a brisk walk, make sure you get your exercise for the day completed. If you have the Wii system, honestly, in my opinion, it is one of the most awesome weight loss tools. I buy fitness and interactive games for it that gets me moving. I use a game called Zumba and it helped me shed 50 pounds over the last year, and it can work for you too! There are also the Just Dance games that are greatly helpful in getting your butt up and moving! Weather you go running, Zumba, jogging, or something else just make sure you get at least 30 to 60 minutes of real exercise a day.

MyNetDiary app for the iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or even just online!
Have an iPod or a computer? That was sort of a dumb question, huh? These days it’s rare that a teenager doesn’t, but that is also why this tip is so useful and effective. When my friend told me about it, I’ll admit, I thought it was stupid. I thought if you just cut certain things out of your diet and exercise daily you don’t need to do that, which is mostly true. While it may not be totally necessary I really think it can help you out. For me, it actually made me think about what I was putting into my mouth and made me realize some things that I think are healthy really aren’t, most of the time. It really opened my eyes to the fact that it’s not always how much you eat (because I’ve never been a big eater) but mainly what you eat and how much you exercise. You set up your profile by putting your current height and weight in, then your goal weight. It calculates how many calories you can have per day in order to reach your goal; it even tells you the exact date that you will reach your goal weight if you follow your calorie plan. When you eat something you type in it the search and the nutrition facts come up for what you are about to consume, then you decide if it is worth it or not. In my opinion it is a highly effective tool that can do wonders for you if used properly. Even when you reach your goal it will tell you how many calories you need to maintain that weight. If you don’t need to lose weight it is still a great way to watch your sodium, saturated fat, carb intake, etc.

No Soda!
You may think nothing of grabbing a canned soda out of the fridge or putting a liter or two of it in your shopping cart, but soda is probably one of the worst things that a person can put into their body and it is often one of the most common. Trust me I was one of those people. I used to love diet cola and drink it all the time. I figured hey its diet, can’t hurt me right? WRONG. It may have been diet but it still contained sodium and was a carbonated beverage. When I gave it up for a trial period of time I saw an immediate difference in my face and even my fingers! Everything was less puffy. I did research and learned what effects soda was having on my body and could have on my teeth thus I made the decision to live without it. If soda is one of your favorite things it’s okay to indulge and have a cup on occasion just don’t go crazy and try to find a substitute for it in the mean time. For example, instead of diet soda when I crave something other than water I reach for my diet green tea. It gives me that good taste in my mouth and helps keep my away from other drinks harmful to the healthy body I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Set Goals!
I find that when I set goals for myself I always work harder in order to reach them. By setting a goal I am making the future I want closer. Example, I’m not saying I want to cut my sugar intake in half someday I’m saying by this time next month my daily sugar intake will be at least 50% less than it is right now. I am making realistic goals for myself and following through on them, which is one of the basic keys to good health. While diseases such as diabetes are very prevalent today, one should use every helpful tip to keep healthy as possible.

In conclusion, the above tips are ones I found extremely beneficial to me and my family’s health. However, before starting vigorous exercise or eliminating things out of your diet, it is always best and strongly advised to check with your doctor first. Being healthy is not a vanity issue although it is sometimes looked at that way. There are unhealthy thin people and there are unhealthy overweight people. Health does not always revolve around a person’s weight. If you happen to be on the heavier side don’t misconstrue this article. I am not giving you tips so you can just lose weight and “look hot”. No, I am giving you tips so you can feel better, be more capable, and practice physical fitness; an essential factor to longevity and a better lifestyle.

Photo Credit: Mandi Frediani from Flickr

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