Staying healthy

Staying healthy is an important part of growing up. And it can affect you physically and emotionally. When your body changes during puberty and you have to deal with things like school and exams, staying healthy can really help you.

why it's important

Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally too. If you're eating the right food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you to cope with stress and also fight illness.

Eating well and exercising often when you're a teenager will also help you stay in good health later in life.

Getting regular sleep is another really important way to stay healthy. Having late nights can leave you feeling tired the next day. It can be difficult, but try to have at least 8 hours sleep each night.

Top tips to remember:

  • eat a varied and balanced diet
  • drink plenty of water
  • get lots of sleep
  • get regular exercise
  • avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.

having a balanced diet

Eating and drinking the right things

It can be hard to keep a healthy diet. Especially when there's a temptation to eat sweets and junk food. But it's important to get a balance in your diet of the right amount of each food group.

A balanced diet also includes drinks. Your body needs to stay hydrated to keep healthy. But think about what you drink. Caffeine and sugary drinks:

  • can cause mood swings
  • affect your energy levels, feeling full of energy before a "sugar low" where you may feel tired and grumpy
  • can make you put on weight if you have too much sugar
  • can give you trouble sleeping if you have them at night.

It's best to drink water and natural juices which don't have loads of sugar.

One portion should include:

  • carbohydrates - like potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. A portion should be about the size of a fist.
  • protein from non dairy sources – like meat, fish, beans, soya and tofu. A portion should be about the size of a deck of cards.
  • dairy – like milk and cheese. A portion should be about a 200ml of milk, a matchbox size piece of cheese or an average pot (125ml) of yoghurt.
  • fruit and vegetables - at least five portions of per day. For fresh fruit and vegetables, a portion should be about a cupped hand. For dried fruit, a portion should be about half a cupped hand.

NHS website has more info about balanced diets.

Getting regular exercise

Exercise is a great way to relax after being in lessons all day. You're recommended to take at least half an hour of exercise every day if you can. You might get some of this through your PE lessons in school, but it's also good to do more exercise outside school if you can.

There are plenty of great ways to keep fit, like joining a sports team. Joining a team outside of school is a great way to stay fit and healthy and also make new friends. Many community centres or leisure centres run team sports at the weekend or after school.

You can build exercise into your daily or weekly routine and get your friends involved too which will help motivate you.

Plenty of ways to keep fit
Exercise doesn't have to mean taking part in a team sport or spending lots of money on expensive equipment. Try doing something you enjoy. It could be:

  • walking
  • swimming
  • jogging
  • ice skating
  • skipping
  • dancing
  • yoga.

Worried about your weight?

If you're worried you might be overweight or underweight, it's best to to speak to a doctor for advice before you do anything.

A doctor can:

  • advise you about how much weight you might need to lose or gain
  • give you a sensible eating and exercise plan to help you lose or gain weight
  • help you plan what food and exercise is right for you.

If you're worried about anything to do with staying healthy you can talk to us anytime.

Watch: Do I have an eating problem?

things to watch out for

Watch: Having a healthy lifestyle