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How to Help Your Teen Build Sustainable Health Habits

How to Help Your Teen Build Sustainable Health Habits

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Do you have a teen? If you think back to your high school years, you know it’s often a tough time. You have to deal with everything from college applications to friend groups. As a result, you know that it’s essential to guide your teen to make these years more manageable.

Here are a few health habits your teen should know.

1. Create an Exercise Routine

You should encourage physical activity as much as possible. The average teen needs to get around one hour of exercise daily. They can aim to do so at least a few times per week. If your teen has special health needs, you can refer to their physician’s guidelines.

Here are some exercise ideas for your teen:

  • Running
  • Playing sports like basketball and softball
  • Riding bikes
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

Try to make exercise as fun as possible. If your teen likes a specific activity, you should do your best to ensure they have access to what they need. You can also make physical activity family-friendly. Take a walk around the neighborhood every Sunday, for example.

2. Don’t Hesitate to Show Feelings

Has your teen ever told you they were upset? In general, it’s tough for teens to express themselves. Your teen might be that way. If so, you should make communication a priority at home. This effort will help them grow emotionally.

You can start by leading by example. Do your best to share your own feelings. For instance, you should tell them when you’re overwhelmed from work. This expression will keep you from channeling that stress unproductively — like shouting at them. Your teen can then follow suit.

It’s also essential to provide the right response to certain situations. If you respond negatively when your teen comes to you for advice, they’ll turn elsewhere. You need to instead offer supportive and nonjudgmental solutions that help. Don’t say anything that invalidates their emotions.

3. Brush and Floss

 

This tip might seem obvious. That said, you’d be surprised at how many teens don’t know how to brush and floss their teeth correctly. There are various dental issues that teens uniquely face. That’s especially true for teens who smoke cigarettes — which are more likely to be boys than girls.

Ask your teen to brush and floss their teeth twice daily. You can also find a mouthwash that supports gum health. Be sure to visit the dentist every six months to ensure proper care. If your teen has braces, you need to follow specific instructions, too.

How do you make oral health care sustainable? Buy eco-friendly products like bamboo toothbrushes, all-natural toothpaste and vegan floss. You should be able to find green items that your dentist approves, too.

4. Remember to Study for Exams

There’s a direct link between schoolwork and mental health. If your teen doesn’t perform well at school, they might suffer mentally. That’s become increasingly apparent as classes move online during COVID-19 — and students are missing their regular routines.

You don’t need to be tough on your teen to get all As or a specific GPA. A low grade shouldn’t be a significant deal unless it turns into a habit. That said, you clearly need to encourage success. You can do a lot as a parent to help your teen perform well:

  • Attend parent-teacher conferences.
  • Track your teen’s assignments and tests.
  • Help with studying.
  • Create an organized environment.
  • Give them resources when needed.

The result should be a teen who’s more self-confident and self-assured.

5. Pick Nutritious Food Options

You should foster a healthy relationship with food. It’s key as a family to eat nutritious and diverse meals. Then, you’ll ensure your teen builds and maintains habits for the future. You can also start them on a sustainable diet.

Do your best to ensure every meal includes fruits, vegetables and grains. You should try to cut back on meat and fish. Instead, you can opt for vegetarian protein options like beans. In fact, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions substantially by replacing beef with beans. If you need to consume meat, you should choose white meat options more often.

Find a balance that works best for your family. You don’t need to go fully vegan to positively impact the environment and your health. A little effort makes a difference. You can then help your teen live a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle from now forward.

6. Drink Enough Water

How often does your teen drink water? There are vital benefits to hydration that range from healthy skin to brain function. Therefore, you should encourage your teen to consume more water than anything else. Try these ideas to promote hydration:

  • Buy your teen a reusable water bottle to make things accessible and eco-friendly.
  • Don’t purchase as many sodas.
  • Offer a beverage like orange juice or chocolate milk rather than sports drinks.
  • Add reminders to drink water throughout the day.
  • Put fruit in water for better taste.

Aim to implement these tips sooner rather than later. You want your teen to make hydration a priority going forward. The result will be a healthy and happy teen.

Try These Tips to Ensure Your Teen Thrives

It’s not always easy to be a teen. Therefore, you should do your best to ensure your child adopts the right habits. This effort will help them thrive throughout adulthood, too.

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