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Healthy Habits: Tips for keeping your teen’s energy levels balanced

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 08:23 AM

A healthy way to think about food is as the source of energy to charge up our batteries for the day. We need to eat regularly to keep powered up, and our goal is to maintain an “energy balance” so that our food (energy we take in) balances with our activity (energy we spend).

Have a conversation with your teen about introducing more healthy habits into everyday life, and recommend these tips for building and maintaining a healthy energy balance:

  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Each night, pack a healthy lunch and snacks for the next day.
  • Walk or bike to school if you live nearby and can safely do so.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Avoid sodas and other high-calorie drinks.
  • Between classes, stand up and walk around, even if your next subject is in the same room.
  • Eat the lunch you packed. Avoid sodas, chips and candy from the vending machines.
  • Be active in gym classes.
  • Stay active after school. Join a team or dance group, walk the dog or play a pick-up game of basketball, soccer or softball.
  • Be involved in the food choices in your home. Help make dinner and eat with your family.
  • Save screen time for after your healthy activities and limit it to less than two hours.
  • Go to bed at a regular time every night to recharge your body and mind.

Be sure to emphasize the benefits of a healthy energy balance as well, including:

  • Improving concentration, memory and the ability to do better in school.
  • Having more energy for fun, going to the mall with friends.
  • Making friends who share your interests in healthy and/or creative
  • Toning up and strengthening your muscles.
  • Improving your mood.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary’s Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one; to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhabits2013.