This week’s contributor is an avid fitness junkie. She’s not on an organized sport, yet she exercises for the love of it. She keeps it all in perspective with some simple rules to stay healthy and fit.

Taylor, 15

I am a healthy person because my mom raised me to stay fit. I run at least four miles a day and eat healthy almost everyday. I’m probably not a regular teenage girl because I like to exercise a lot and most people my age would NEVER do that. Here’s what I have learned about staying fit. The secret is: Have good habits.

Eat Healthy

Studies have shown that people who skip important meals actually gain weight. People think that by eating fewer calories you will lose weight. Teenagers need to eat breakfast everyday because it gives they needed fuel and energy to get moving until lunch. People who miss breakfast often end up eating more calories during the day (like going to the vending machines for snacks or junk food.) Here are some suggestions for three meals day:

  • Breakfast: For breakfast, eating fruit, yogurt, and granola is great. Also a cup of juice or hot beverage should get you going for the day. You can also make a protein shake with yogurt and berries.
  • Lunch: Instead of going out to buy lunch, make a healthy one on your own. Include one serving of vegetables or salad and one serving of fruit. Pack one serving of a low-fat or fat free milk or dairy item such as a low-fat cheese stick, a yogurt cup, or some cottage cheese. Include a protein, such as one serving of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, beans or another protein source. You can also pack a healthy drink such as water or 100% juice.
  • Dinner:  Don’t go out for dinner; just make a healthy one right at home. You can include whole wheat rice and bean burrito with whole wheat burrito bread. Make baked ziti with healthy mushrooms in it. Instead of hamburgers and cheeseburgers make a turkey burger, which is a much healthier option. Get a parent to help or start to follow a recipe book.

Eat the right way and not the wrong way. Eating right is good for your body. If you don’t eat right, you never know what’s going to happen. You can faint or maybe even worse scenarios.

Exercise

Obviously, exercise every day is needed for anyone to stay in shape. Often people make it too hard or think exercise takes too much time or that you already have to be good at it. Just exercise at least 30 minutes a day and I guarantee that you will be in decent shape. You can break down physical activity into 10-minute chunks over the course of a day. (Check out the CDC’s Youth Physical Activity Guidelines which recommend that teens get in 60 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week.)

There are many ways to exercise, here are a few:

  • Jog outside
  • Join a gym
  • Dance
  • Play sports
  • Walk

Physical activity  has many benefits! Exercise burns calories, and the more you exercise, the more calories you burn, which causes you to lose or maintain a normal weight. It’s a balance between what you eat  to fuel you (energy in) and the physical activity you do to burn that fuel (energy out).

Exercise can also improve your mood. Studies show that exercise stimulates brain chemicals responsible for making you feel happy. Exercise can also be enjoyable. It gives you the opportunity to have fun with your routines and escape from daily worries.  It builds confidence. You can exercise with friends, too.

If you exercise and eat right, life can feel really great!

Resources:

 

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