The teen years are a period of rapid growth and hormonal changes. You will experience numerous growth spurts as you transition to adulthood, and you should be aware of the effects that diet and exercise can have on growth during these important years.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet will give your body a chance to grow properly and help your bones to develop the density needed to avoid problems in later life. Exercise is also very important during the teen years, so you should be sure to devote time to participating in a regular exercise routine.
Components of a Healthy Diet for Teens
Making sure that you include all of the nutrients in your diet that are needed to develop a healthy body is easy when you know how. You can get many of these vitamins and minerals from eating enough fruits and vegetables; you should strive to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. You also need to make sure that you are consuming your recommended daily allowance of the following food groups:
- Fruits and vegetables
Eating too much or too little of any of these food groups can negatively affect your health, causing illness and lethargy.
Although it can be tempting to skip meals to keep your weight down, this should be avoided. Most teens are led to believe that they are overweight because television and the media constantly expose them to attractive and slim celebrities. Skipping meals can lead you to feel lethargic and run down and may cause you to underperform at school. Skipping breakfast can be particularly damaging, as this is what sets your energy levels for the day. Be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast every morning so you can perform well and feel energized.
Foods to Avoid While Growing Up
Most teenagers consume too much tea, coffee and soft drinks when they should be drinking plenty of water. Teenagers have also developed a reputation for regularly eating unhealthy foods. You should avoid foods that contain high amounts of sugar and fat, such as potato chips and chocolate, and snack on healthier items like whole fruits and vegetables. Although sugary foods can give you an initial energy burst, this will soon wear off and leave you feeling even more tired than you felt before.
Exercise to Stay Fit
Regular exercise helps to develop your muscles and burn off excess calories and fat, among its many other benefits. It can also develop your lung capacity and strengthen your heart. Diet alone is not enough to stay healthy; exercise is equally vital. Schools and cities often provide plenty of exercise opportunities for teenagers. You could join a sports club or an exercise class, but if money is an issue, you could get together with friends to play sports and go running, walking or cycling.
If you prefer to exercise alone, go to a few yoga classes and practice in your backyard each day or get an exercise video that you can follow in the comfort of your own home.
Exercise is essential to teen growth, and you must be sure to exercise regularly so you can develop in a healthy manner. Good eating and regular exercise will leave you feeling great about yourself and make you more capable of performing well at school and in life. Give yourself the best start in life by making sure that your body has all the nutrients and exercise needed to help you develop into a strong, confident adult.