Teenage is a transitional period from boyhood to adulthood. During this period, teenagers undergo many physical and mental changes. For many, it marks the end of childhood and the beginning of a new life, free from rules and restrictions set by parents. At this age, they become independent and develop new habits and form new social circles.
Habits are hard to break and some can last for a lifetime. Habits formed during these years continue into adulthood and play a major role in formation of the character and personality of the person. This article focuses on guiding teens to make their life healthier by inculcating healthy habits during this crucial period.
Many physical changes take place in a person during teen years. Regular exercise is an effective way to cope up with those changes. A study conducted by Harvard school of public health found that both children and teenagers need more physical activity than adults. They also suggested that at least 60 minutes of exercise including moderate activities like dancing, bicycling, weight lifting and vigorous activities like running and swimming is required.
Exercise tones the body, increases fitness and strengthens bones. It helps in increasing concentration levels, mental stability, enhancing proper mood and relaxing mind. It also saves time and money one may spend on unnecessary or unhealthy habits.
Maintain a healthy diet
Since teenagers undergo rapid physical and mental development, higher quantities of essential components are required in the diet during this phase. But as many teenagers start feeding themselves at this stage of life, they tend to consume junk food or skip meals.
Nutritionists believe that teenagers are avoiding healthy food which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, lean protein and low fat dairy products. An appropriate diet containing adequate amounts of nutrients essential for growth, development and overall health is very important for teens.
Find healthy ways to manage stress
Stress is common in teens during the transition from childhood to teenage as they start taking responsibilities and decisions on their own. At this age, they are required to make more decisions than when they were under their parent’s guidance. According to a study conducted by University of California in Los Angeles, teenagers experience more stress than adults as their brains react differently, especially while making risky decisions.
When the teenagers are stressed, their decision making abilities are impacted and this is the reason why teens often seem to act without fully understanding the consequences. Stress may lead to depression, high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, nausea and ulcers. It may also lead to drinking, smoking and illicit substance abuse.
To stay away from harmful effects of stress, one needs to do regular physical exercise. Practicing yoga can help reduce stress and tension. Meditation is also an effective way of fighting stress. Being optimistic is a better way of leading a stress free life.
Avoid alcohol and substance abuse
Teenagers are more likely to take the risk of experimenting with harmful substances as their brain is still developing. Researchers from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) found that 90% of American addicts started smoking, drinking or using drugs before the age of 18 years. Hence, in order to stay healthy, one needs to stay away from alcohol and substance abuse besides adopting healthy habits during the teen years.
The fun of experimenting with drugs in teenage often leads to serious addictions in the later life. Teens prone to unhealthy habits like substance abuse are more likely to face increased risk of heart diseases, cancer, depression, diabetes and other major health problems.
Teenage is a crucial period in every person’s life. Teens should understand that a wrong decision during this period can destroy their whole life. Hope these guidelines help you to choose a better lifestyle, which makes you healthy and happy throughout your life.
By Nate Rodney
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