Grades, friends, college. The teen years are full of stressors, but staying healthy doesn’t have to be one of them. Here are a few stepping stones to building a health plan right at home that will benefit the whole family.
Embrace the Tech
Wearable fitness trackers are just one way to keep up with your activity. Don’t neglect the built-in health apps in many smartphones, like SHealth, which allow you to keep food diaries, track your heart rate, and even follow the popular Couch to 5K® program. If your phone is going to be in your pocket full-time anyway, use the step tracker feature. Simply walking ten thousand steps a day—far more manageable than it sounds—means walking five miles! Although using these tracking features won’t make you more active on their own, a little friendly competition goes a long way. Some teens like to compete with their parents in exchange for chores! Setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals make reward systems and staying consistent practically automatic.
If fitness tracking just isn’t techie enough for you, download a fitness app guaranteed to satisfy your first-person shooter cravings. Apps like The Walk, Zombie, Run! and the RPG-styled Adventure Workout put you at the center of intricate backstories geared toward pushing you toward a faster and even more structured workout. For less-inclined teens, combining game play with physical activity minimizes pushback and allows time for both.
Teenager-ing is a busy job. Somewhere in the middle of homework, chores, volunteering, and even part-time jobs, it’s important not to rely too much on convenient but unhealthful snackage. Even if a sugary or caffeinated pick-me-up is what you think your body needs to refuel, the best choices are always fresh fruits and vegetables or high-protein choices like jerky or nuts. Staying hydrated is a massive source of energy, so reach past the soda pop and grab some cool water. Need something a little more flavorful? Infuse your water with fresh berries or crisp cucumber and mint. You don’t need a fancy carafe—just throw some slices in a pitcher full of water and stash it in the refrigerator. You can even refill the pitcher 2 or 3 times! Even better, keep sugary drinks like sodas and juices out of the house completely. For tea drinkers, wean yourself off the sweet stuff and switch to unsweetened green tea for something yummy that’s also bursting with antioxidants. Although the change from sweet-to-sweet goodness might take some adjusting, with time and consistency, no one will miss the Oreos.
No matter where you begin, remember that you’re a team. Being healthy doesn’t mean dieting—developing a plan now builds healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Working together forms memories that will last just as long.
This guest post was written by Kelley Walters and was submitted by Modernize.com.