Today, an ever-increasing number of adolescents are busier in school and wired to their cellphones or video game consoles during their free time.
So it’s no surprise that junk food and a lack of physical activity are the new norm.
Today, fast food is cheap and delicious, and this means more kids are eating far too many calories and barely exercising. Their cardiovascular health is poor and this increases their chances of suffering from anxiety and depression.
But scientific studies have shown the many benefits of a well-balanced diet paired with regular exercise. It’s known to improve mental health, sleep, cardiovascular health, and boost cognition.
This is even more important during adolescence where proper nutrition and exercise are required to handle the growth spurts and changes occurring in the body.
Let’s took a look in detail on why diet and exercise are important for adolescents:
Adolescents who eat healthy balanced meals, three times a day will feel positive changes in their bodies. This means less acne development and body odor during this period in their life when their body is changing.
A healthy meal means lots of fruits and vegetables. This is important during adolescence is helping with bone growth, regulating hormonal changes, and boosting their immune system.
A high-calorie intake of fats and sugars during adolescence can also be a sign of the intense hunger teenagers experience as their body grows. However, if the wrong nutrients are consumed by eating high sugar foods, this can result in weight gain and make teenagers will lethargic. This, in turn, can also negatively affect their sleep and temperament.
Educating teenagers on healthy eating and portion control is important here. This way they’ll feel in control and aware of why they have to eat certain food groups and how their food choices will affect their health.
Exercise is also important during adolescence and is important in helping release dopamine in a teenager’s body that promotes much more positive thinking and mental well-being. Ideally, 60 min a day of moderate physical activity where the heart rate is elevated is a good rule to follow.
By having teenagers participate in outdoor sports more, this will expose them to Vitamin D that helps enhance mood and act as a natural antidepressant. Adolescence is a stressful time and nothing is a stress-beater than exercise.
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense workouts or long hours of playing sports. Even a short 30 min. Walk around the neighborhood is enough to get the heart pumping a bit more and allowing the body and mind to feel good. It also is a natural relaxant, and a good workout a few hours before bed can help relax the body and provide better quality sleep.
Sleep is a part of this so make sure teenagers are getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
A good diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep form the three legs of a tripod that keeps physical and mental well-being a part of one’s life. During adolescence when their body is going through many changes, it’s even more important to ensure their mind and body are well-regulated and functioning optimally to aid in their development.