How Can Teens Set Themselves up for a Lifetime of Good Health?

Teenagers can take steps to maintain optimal health for life. Establishing good health habits in the teenage years can carry over into adulthood and may be effective in preventing future medical conditions. Here are five ways that teens can set themselves up for a lifetime of good health.

Avoid Consumption of Harmful Substances

Tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs can all negatively affect a teen’s health. Young people who engage in using harmful substances may develop addictions that are still present well into adulthood. Many of these substances are known to increase the chances of developing health problems like cancer, heart disease, and liver damage.

Get Enough Sleep

Between schoolwork, hanging out with friends and possibly working part-time jobs, teens often do not get the recommend amount of sleep each night. Sleep can help with growth and brain development and plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that teens get anywhere from eight to ten hours of sleep each night to function at their best and grow into healthy adults.

Maintain Good Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health can keep teeth and gums intact and ward off dental problems. Professionals, like those at Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics, know that brushing and flossing teeth twice a day should be part of every teen’s oral health routine. It is best to avoid eating a lot of sugary and acidic foods that may damage tooth enamel. Teens may also need to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent infections and other serious complications.

Exercise is Key

Exercise is good for people of all ages, but it is especially important for developing teens who want to preserve their well-being well into their golden years. Weight training and other strength exercises should be incorporated into a workout regimen to build muscle mass and keep off excess body fat. Running, cycling and other cardio exercises are also important for excellent cardiovascular health.

Establish a Healthy Diet

According to Better Homes & Gardens, teenage boys need to consume anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 calories per day while girls need 2,200 calories. These calories should consist of a sufficient amount of carbohydrates and proteins while being low in sugars and saturated fats. Some of the best food choices for teens include avocados, hummus and whole-wheat pasta.

Teens can take control over their health so that they will remain both physically and mentally fit throughout their lives. Staying on top of one’s health from an early age will prove to be the gift that keeps on giving.