Learning to develop healthy lifestyle habits and a positive body image in an adolescent are important contributing factors to both adolescence and adult health. A balanced lifestyle for an adolescent basically means managing time and making adjustments wherever there is a need. It essentially may add up to living happily and reducing stress levels from the demands of life. Adolescents may live a balanced lifestyle by getting sufficient exercise, resting enough, eating healthily, having a positive attitude and managing their time well.
Adolescence is a unique time period when adolescents may start to exercise their own independent behaviors and develop habits that can carry forward throughout adulthood. Additionally, adolescence marks a phase of rapid physical growth increasing the needs of several nutrients. In this developmental phase, it is very important for them to get the right guidance and support from someone they trust and follow, to inculcate healthy habits. These habits further lead to a positive and stress-free lifestyle.
Parents can encourage the development of a healthy lifestyle in ways such as:
1. Encouraging healthy eating habits which include having plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Drinking lot of water is another essential element of healthy eating habits.
2. Parents may encourage adolescents to add at least 30 minutes of any physical activity/exercise in their daily routine to keep them fit and healthy.
3. Encouraging positive activities like yoga, meditation, art and craft, etc.
4. Guiding the teenagers about time division between various activities, and preventing excessive use of gadgets or other electronic media.
5. Motivating them to have healthy social life and relationships as social connections are vital for an adolescent's well-being and positive development.
6. Parents may learn and model stress-management skills, positive attitude and effective time-management skills to help their adolescent follow the same.
7. Rewarding the adolescents for developing healthy habits and routines, and being cautious of not being critical if he/she takes time to develop these.
8. Encouraging healthy decision making habits in adolescents by giving them the required space to exercise their thinking abilities.
9. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle in adolescents may require help from trained professionals and experts, who may be able to work better in situations which require clinical intervention.
10. Parents need to facilitate an adolescent's well-being by educating the adolescent about a healthy lifestyle, and keeping them aware of things that can affect them negatively.
Enhancing personal strength, will-power and sense of responsibility in adolescents are the key elements that will enable them to choose a healthy life-style, in adolescence and also as adults.
"A Healthy lifestyle not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood." -Anonymous