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Teenage bodies go through so many changes, it can be overwhelming. It can also be overwhelming for parents. Many fear they aren’t ready for this, who is? We have the information you need to support your teen’s health during these tough years. The best way is to practice healthy habits as a family.
Lifelong healthy habits should start young, and parents are well situated to model healthy behavior for their teens. Helping them understand the importance of eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly is done by example. Leading by example, you can set both of you up for a long and healthy life.
Staying Healthy Through Puberty
Puberty causes massive changes in the teenage body. Adjusting to this new reality involves changing some health and wellness strategies. Keeping teens healthy consists in understanding their changing calorie and personal hygiene needs. Helping them avoid gorging on junk food and the embarrassment of smelly armpits.
As boys begin to hit puberty, their hormone levels change as they go into testosterone overdrive. This leads an increase in height, muscle mass, and hormones. For girls, the process begins as their ovaries start creating estrogen and her period begins. Boys and girls alike will start to grow darker hair under their arms on their legs and pubic area. Many young guys will begin growing hair on their faces as well.
Increasing hormone levels lead to elevated oil production for many teens. Especially on their face, upper back, and chest. This causes acne breakouts that can be incredibly embarrassing for image-conscious teenagers. For help avoiding breakouts, you can check out this article.
Pimples are a normal part of puberty for most teens, but sometimes they are more than that. If your teen’s self-esteem is suffering because of acne, consider an appointment with a dermatologist. Low self-esteem can cause all manner of problems for teens. When there is something we can do to help because there so often isn’t, why not do it?
Best Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy
Healthy living has many different meanings, and tips for living a healthy lifestyle can be split into several categories. Physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health are all part of it. Below are ways you can encourage your teen to be healthy in every category.
Puberty causes dramatic changes in teenage bodies. It’s also a great time to teach your child lifelong habits for healthy living.
- Get Regular Exercise: Aim for at least sixty minutes of physical activity a day.
- Eat Smart: Filling half of every plate with fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Teens need about 9 hours of sleep a night, so send your child to bed early so that they can better concentrate in school.
- Positive body image: not all bodies look the same, but focus on being the healthiest version of yourself.
There are lots of stressors in life for teenagers, and learning ways to manage their mental health is critical for their health. You can help your teen in the following ways:
Teach Them How to Manage Stress:
Stress is unavoidable. How you deal with stress is very important. Centering activities, such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises can help. These calming mental exercises along with physical exercize can make a world of difference.
Make School a Priority (but, don’t let them take on too much!):
Good grades can make a difference in your teen’s future. Putting in the energy now will pay dividends later. However, overextending can lead to unhealthy stress. Help your child learn to manage their stress by learning to say no. Learning how to limit your commitments to a healthy level is a life skill they need.
Mental health problems are on the rise for today’s teens, so it’s important as parents to know the signs of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem so that you can spot it in your child and give him the help he needs.
- Pay Attention to Negative Moods: Monitor your child’s behaviors so that you know if something is changing, and make yourself available if your child needs it.
- Accept Your Child ‘As Is’ and Celebrate Uniqueness: Self-esteem is fragile in teenagers, so find ways to cultivate your child’s sense of worth.
The brain and body don’t necessarily age at the same rate, meaning that teenagers often make unsmart decisions without being aware of the consequences. You can help by:
- Monitor Driving Time: motor vehicle crashes cause thousands of teenage deaths each year, so make sure your child feels comfortable behind the wheel and doesn’t drive late at night.
- Encourage Abstinence from Alcohol and Drugs: Talk candidly with your teen about the negative impacts of underage drinking and recreational drug use, and your opinion will be more influential than you think.
There is no limit to the material available online to help you guide your adolescent towards a healthy lifestyle. If you are seeking further resources, Medline Plus offers high-quality health articles for teens.