Teen Physical Health - Exercise
Exercise should be an important part in the life of every teenager. Most teens will be required to take a physical education class in Jr. High School and High School. The physical education classes will give students a basic understanding of some basic sports and the importance of daily exercise. If a teen can develop good physical health discipline when they are young, they will do much better in their adult years. If a person is inactive and out of shape, they will usually not perform as well as someone who is fit. Some teenage students have extra activities they participate in that require them to stay in shape and exercise more. For example, if a student is on the football team he will be in great shape, “at least during football season”. A teenage girl on the drill team, or cheerleading squad will be in better shape than someone who doesn’t participate in extra activities.
Health and Sleep
Many teens underestimate the importance of a good nights rest. They will try to “burn the candle at both ends”. This can lead to fatigue and even depression. The tired teen does not think as clearly as the well rested teen. The fatigue also leads to poor grades, and strained friendships. Many teens become irritable when they are sleep deprived. They can lose friends because they are so moody all of the time. There have been many studies about sleep and the amount the teens, children, and adults need. Teens require more sleep than adults in many studies. The teen is growing both physically, mentally and emotionally. This growth takes its toll on an un-rested body. We have heard that some teens may need as much as 10 hours of sleep per night. A tired teen is much more likely to fall asleep in class, contributing to a poor report card.
One pitfall of many teens is deciding to start smoking cigarettes. If a teen were to ask 100 adult smokers, they would probably find that 80% wishes they had never started. Sometimes a teen will start smoking on a dare, sometimes peer pressure is too great and they begin. Regardless of how they start smoking once, they are hooked. They must now go through the difficult process associated with quitting smoking. This is a very difficult task, it would so much easier to have never started. There are many ways to assist a person with the process of quitting smoking. There is a new medication that can help called varenicline (Chantix). It is available with a prescription from your Dr. The patch is still a viable option that is readily available at any drug store.
It is important that a teen go to the Dr. at least annually. While a youngster is growing up their body is going through many changes. As the teen moves from a Pediatrician to a MD or a Gynecologist, it is an advantage to have a Dr. familiar with the teen. If a Dr. has been seeing a teen, he will be more prepared to help if the teen starts a spiral downward. The Dr. will be much better qualified to assist with placement or referral to another Dr. if he has been involved in the life of the child. It is also important for the family Dr. to watch for any abnormalities. If a family Dr. is invested in the family, he can be a very good resource should the family run into troubles.
There are two ways to discuss teen diets. There is the teen diet for the purpose of losing weight. There is the teen diet made up of what the teen eats. First we will discuss the teen diet for the purpose of gaining weight. There are few things that will contribute to low self esteem in a teen than a fat body. The overweight teen usually withdraws and spends a lot of time at home alone. Very few overweight teens participate in any kind of competitive sports. It is sad that teens are so mean to each other. An overweight student will typically be an easy target to be made fun of. This contributes to the problem and many times the teen eats to feel better. This perpetuates the cycle and teen gains more weight.
A teen that is conscientious about what their diet consists of, is developing self control at an early age. If a teen will eat healthy foods and learn the importance of nutrition, they will be much better off when they get older and their metabolism slows down. Some teens diet even if they don’t need to. This can lead to anorexic or bulimic behaviors. Some underweight teens look in the mirror and see a morbidly obese person staring back at them. This can create a serious problem if not handled quickly and properly.
Some teen athletes, usually wrestlers will diet to get to their ideal wrestling weight. This can also be somewhat risky. If a teen wants to drop 10 lbs to wrestle in a lower weight, they may go to extreme measures to get to the desired weight. Some athletes will deny themselves all through the wrestling season, and they eat poorly the remainder of the year. This can lead to an unhealthy weight gain.