In today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult for adolescents to make time for good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. But by establishing smart habits now, young adults can look forward to a lifetime of good health and confidence in social situations.
Good hygiene makes a difference. It’s important for young people to keep their bodies healthy and clean as they move toward independence. Careful hygiene not only prevents illness, it also helps you feel good about your body, which will have a positive effect on how you interact with other people and how they will react to you. Young people at this stage need to develop a healthy routine, which includes:
- Washing hands often
- Brushing teeth twice daily and flossing at least once daily
- Showering or bathing each day
- Washing hair regularly
- Shaving regularly
- Grooming/clipping nails each week
- Wearing clean clothes and using deodorant
- Using personal products properly (such as feminine hygiene products or acne treatments)
Eat a healthy diet. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat the right foods. Proper nutrition can help busy teens get through the day while preventing sickness and disease. Eating properly means making good choices, such as choosing fruits and vegetables and plenty of lean proteins. Avoid junk food and sugary treats, and drink water instead of soda.
Take time to exercise. Along with eating right, it’s important to stay active by exercising at least three to four times each week. Regular exercise not only helps maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps young people feel good about themselves. You don’t have to belong to a gym to stay in shape—head to the park for a walk or run, take a swim, join a community sports league, or simply play basketball with some friends. And don’t forget to exercise your brain with books, puzzles and cultural activities.
Find suggestions for healthy habits from the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.
Schedule regular visits with the doctor and dentist. Regular checkups can help adolescents stay healthy and strong, and avoid problems later in life. Plan to see your doctor once a year, and don’t forget to see the dentist once or twice a year for regular cleaning and checkups. Don’t ignore injuries and other health problems. By taking care of them right away, you can prevent painful and expensive doctor visits later.
Get involved in the community. Part of the fun of growing up is meeting new people and exploring new interests. Check out the local parks department or community center for inexpensive recreational activities and events. Or volunteer your time mentoring local youth or helping senior citizens. Volunteer work offers valuable experience and helps build a resume.
Live a balanced lifestyle. Older adolescents tend to be very busy, with active social lives. But a hectic schedule can also lead to stress. Young adults need to develop a plan for dealing with stress, setting aside time for rest and relaxation. A healthy lifestyle includes plenty of sleep. It also includes “unplugging” once in a while to enjoy quiet activities such as reading or artwork.
Watch this video to learn more about Personal Care and Healthy Habits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: