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Healthy eating and exercise

Your body goes through a lot of changes as a teenager so it’s important to take care of it. Whether it’s eating the right foods or getting enough exercise, there are plenty of things you can do to stay fit and healthy.

Eating healthily

Eating healthily not only allows your body to develop properly but it can also help you to:

  • improve your concentration and learning at school
  • avoid getting ill
  • build up your strength
  • get plenty of energy for your day
  • avoid problems when you are older – such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and dental decay

Although being an unhealthy weight for your height and age (see the NHS BMI calculator for teenagers) can create health problems, losing weight the wrong way can also have bad effects. It’s best to stay away from fad diets and instead, opt for a balanced diet and regular exercise.

How should I eat and snack?

NHS Live Well has some great tips on eating healthily for teenagers and how to choose healthy snacks.

Some tips for healthy snacking:

  • fruit
  • nuts
  • baked crisps
  • cottage cheese
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 90% dark chocolate – a couple of small squares!

Drinks

It’s also good to drink between six and eight glasses of fluid a day (mostly water). Fizzy drinks can be full of sugar and calories, which are harmful for your teeth and for staying at a healthy weight. Find out more here.

Staying fit

The NHS recommends that teenagers do an hour of exercise every day. Apart from the obvious reasons like weight, exercise can also be good for your mind. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercise is good for your skin too!

An hour might seem like a lot, but there are lots of ways you can easily fit exercise into your day. These include:

  • walking to school
  • riding a scooter
  • walking the dog
  • dancing (in your room!)
  • skateboarding / rollerblading
  • online exercise workouts

You should also try and include a ‘vigorous’ activity such as running and tennis into your week too.

Find out more about NHS guidelines on what type of exercise you should do and how often.

Although it’s tempting to spend time sitting watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car instead of walking, try and choose the healthier option - for your body, your health and your future self!

Teen Invigor8

Teen Invigor8 offers Wirral Council’s fitness package at a reduced rate to under 18s.

It offers a range of classes and gym sessions specifically for teens at sites all over Wirral. It’s also a good way to keep fit and healthy, and to meet new people!

Here’s a snapshot of what’s included:

  • public swimming
  • equipment hire
  • indoor tennis
  • online booking system
  • 50% off any Invigor8 school holiday activities
  • use of Wirral's municipal golf courses all-day, seven days a week

Interested? Find out more about TeenInvigor8