Teen Health 101: The Brutally Honest Version

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As teenagers, we are continuously reminded to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get plenty of hours of sleep. Even though we are frequently reminded, hardly anyone bothers to tell us why? For what reasons should we consistently follow these guidelines? I have thoroughly investigated the topics and have found the answers to be very simple. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and bountiful sleep promote overall health and increase longevity.

Healthy eating is sometimes hard for teens, with the abundance of fast-food options lurking around every corner. Fattening and sugary foods are constantly thrown in our faces; and sometimes they are so delicious that they are impossible to turn down. Yes, I understand completely, however, in shorter terms, those foods are making us fat. Being overweight brings many dangerous conditions, such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks. Not only are they making us fat, but the sugary foods cause us to have sugar crashes. When we consume these foods, our blood-sugar levels rise; and what goes up, must come down. The crashes bring on tiredness and irritability. So say goodbye to McDonalds and Frito Lays, and say hello to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And do not turn up your nose immediately, healthy foods are surprisingly delicious. Eating healthy also aids in healthy organs; and studies have proven that the healthier you eat, the clearer your skin will be. The choice is up to you, Twinkies or zits?

I know, for some people, whenever the word exercise is mentioned, they immediately hide. What those people do not know is that exercise is extremely beneficial to the human body; and exercising regularly increases longevity. Who does not want to live longer and look great? Exercising will not only keep your body looking beach-ready 24/7, but it also makes you happier. As unappealing and tiring as some people make it sound, exercise releases endorphins in the human brain. The released endorphins improve your overall mood. Believe it or not, exercise can be fun! Find something active that you enjoy doing, and even invite your friends. It could be as simple as taking a long walk or riding a bike. You will not regret staying active in the long run, so get off your lazy butt and get going!

Tired of hearing you need to get eight hours of sleep every night? Unfortunately, the people who preach this to you are correct. Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for your overall health. Sleep allows the body and mind to rest, so that it can function properly throughout the day. Sleep deprivation results in physical deterioration, irritability, overeating, and memory loss. Now for some of us, getting eight hours of sleep is easy; and some even go into a mini hibernation every single night! I on the other hand, am like most of the country, and hardly get the required amount. It is easy to fall short in this category with the increasing amount of responsibilities, such as homework assignments, sports, and jobs. For the people like me, try shutting down everything an hour before you wish to go to bed. During this hour, do something relaxing and literally try to turn off your mind for the day. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to get to sleep. Once you get in the habit of getting enough shut-eye, you will find a new, overall feeling of freshness. We are all like batteries that need to be recharged. Sleep is our form of reviving.

Our overall health and longevity are why we need to abide by the three guidelines of eating healthy, exercising regularly, and sleeping soundly. Take a step back and evaluate your current, daily habits. If you are already doing the aforementioned rules, good for you, you are fantastic! If not, I would definitely consider incorporating all of them into your life. Encourage your friends to join you, because it is always easier and more enjoyable when you are accomplishing a task with others. Being healthy is one of the only aspects we can control in our lives. Take advantage of this complete ownership and start feeling great!





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