As you go through your teenage years there are lots of changes to contend with – from your lifestyle to your body. Dealing with the stresses of these changes can be tough, but you are only as good as the fuel you run on. This means making sure you get enough sleep (hint; if you feel tired in the mornings, you need more sleep!), but also means making sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Easier said than done you might think as you spend the day with your friends, catching a bite to eat where you can. While it is OK to enjoy some junk food now and again, you need to make sure you get the right amount of nutrients, such as calcium, as your body grows and strengthens. Exercise is also important, so put down your mobile and head outside.
It is recommended that you do at least 60 minutes of exercise every day – ranging from walking and cycling to more vigorous activities like running or playing a sport like football. In addition to this you should do exercises to strengthen your muscles and bones three days of the week – such as jumping, push-ups, or running. It is not just physical either, as team sports can be a good way of meeting other people and walking to and from school can give you time to chat with friends.
Now that you are a teen you are probably more aware of your body than when you were younger, but this can also become a problem. Social pressures to look a certain way can push young people to either exercise too much or eat too little or follow unnecessary diets. In extreme cases it can lead to serious eating disorders like anorexia.
It can be difficult to know exactly what a healthy weight and appearance is, especially with so many media images portraying certain ‘ideals.’ However, many fad diets are designed to make money where sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly should be enough to stay healthy and in shape. If you are concerned about your weight you can check out www.b-eat.co.uk – which is full of great advice and information. Eating disorders are a serious issue that should not be ignored – speak to a teacher, parent, or your doctor and get some help.
While not getting enough of the right nutrients is bad for your health, being overweight can also lead to problems. Obesity increases the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes as well as having a negative effect on your self-esteem.
If you think you are overweight, try to avoid fad diets. They may work in the short term, but as soon as you start eating normally again you are likely to put the weight back on. Instead, you need to change your diet to eat healthily and exercise to lose weight and keep it off. A healthy diet makes sure you get all the vitamins you need, which should also make you feel better too.
Finally, don’t be tempted to skip meals. Ignoring meals, and in particular breakfast, can leave you feeling hungry and likely to snack unhealthily later in the day. In fact, eating breakfast has been linked to a lower risk of weight gain.
Check back tomorrow for some advice on healthy eating in your teens…