Sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games while stuffing your face with chips and chocolate is not the path to a healthy life. You need to find a way to be active that suits you. So what do you like? Do you enjoy walking, running, dancing, surfing, bike riding, playing a team sport or swimming? Being active doesn’t have to mean ‘no pain – no gain’; it just means that you have to get out there and get moving. So try doing something every day.
Before you start moaning and groaning about daily exercise stop and think about the benefits. Being active will improve your strength, flexibility and mobility. You’ll sleep better, feel better and have more energy. And if that doesn’t convince you then think about all the time you can spend with your friends discovering heaps of cool new stuff to do – like rock climbing or horse riding.
Your body, your temple…
You have heard it all before, but you are what you eat. So you need to take care of your body and think about what you shove in your gob. This doesn’t mean you have to give up favourite foods. Food gives you the vitamins, minerals and energy for everyday life. You need to eat a variety of healthy foods, and eat an adequate amount of each, to keep you fuelled up each day. If you do, you’re more likely to feel good and look your great. It only takes small changes in the way you eat, and balance healthy eating with being active.
You need sleep. It’s really important in your teen years, because this is when your body does most of it’s growing. You need deep, uninterrupted sleep.
It’s good to express how you are feeling. Talk it out. Keeping things bottled up takes lot of energy and it’s not healthy to hold onto tension. If you have difficulty expressing yourself to others, then there are other ways to find the release you need. You could write about how you feel in a diary or journal. Or you could write a poem or story. If writing’s not your thing, then you could express yourself through drawing, painting or any other visual medium. Remember it’s not a contest, you don’t have to show what you create to anyone.
If you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body, that’s OK. There are other ways that you can let loose. You may choose to express yourself by cranking up the stereo and singing along to your favourite songs. While you’re there why not try dancing too. Wave your arms in the air and invent your own silly dance. Bet you can’t do it without laughing at yourself. And laughing is incredibly healthy.