Although we are still very much in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase of vaccinated individuals has made it possible for things to open up and look a little more normal. With being more engaged and social this Summer, it’s important to remember that staying healthy and safe should continue to be a top priority, especially for teenagers!
Your teenage years are so incredibly critical in shaping who you are as an adult. It’s never too early to start having your teen become aware of their overall health & well-being, and what better time to do so than now!
Staying Active and SocialRegardless of whether your teen prefers group sports, being part of the local swim team, going to dance class, tennis, golf, rollerblading, clubs, participating in a safe & controlled exercise/sports conditioning programs, etc., being active is one of the best ways for your teenager to not only feel great but stay socially engaged (and let’s not forget less screen time too)! As we know, your teenage years are extremely pivotal. This is the time when you are trying to “figure it all out;” school, what you want to be when you grow up, friends, your likes/dislikes, etc. It continues to be proven that one of the best ways to manage all of this is by staying active and moving more! Not only is it a wonderful way for your teen to have social interaction outside of the family unit but it is an amazing confidence & self-esteem booster! Let’s see how staying active plays a vital role in the overall health and happiness of your teen!1
- Physical activity keeps the endorphins high! This is a game changer when it comes to your teen having less stress, anxiousness, and/or developing feelings of depression. In addition, self-confidence & mood increase, and sleep habits improve too.
- It assists with weight management and body composition, keeps energy levels, and helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Exercise has also been shown to Improve mental acuity and cognitive capability2
Health Tips for TeensYour teenage years are the foundation for becoming an adult. It’s during this time when paying attention to your health — i.e. physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral — is of utmost importance. Although these should be consistent, here are some Summer health tips for teens to start implementing and becoming more aware about!3
- Stay active
- Learn about a proper, balanced, diet
- Make oral health a priority
- Focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep
- Understand and learn about vaccinations, especially HPV and flu shot
- Make sure to apply SPF daily
- Find ways to balance school, friends, sports, and possibly work, along with ways to manage and cope with stress
- Build a strong relationship and repertoire with your parents or guardians
- Prepare a plan of action for striving to do your best in school
- Make yourself #1, and accept yourself for the amazing person that you are and are going to become
- Meet your mood and feelings with understanding while also knowing the signs and symptoms when you may need to ask for additional help (i.e. depression, anxiety, decrease self-esteem, weight fluctuations, lethargic/tired, etc.)
- Practice safe sex or abstain altogether; if you do plan on engaging in sexual activity, condoms are the preferred method of contraceptive as to, also, preventing sexually transimitted diseases
- Understand the negative effects of using (and/or abusing) drugs and tobacco products; avoid and abstain if possible
- Practice safe driving; wear your seatbelt, limit passengers, obey the speed limit, and never drive with someone who is under the influence of alcohol.
- Stay away or remove yourself from situations that have the potential to become violent and inflict personal injury or harm
Summer Safety Tips During the PandemicIf you and/or your teen(s) are out and about, here are a few Summer safety tips to keep in check.4
- Wear your sunscreen! While wearing an SPF should be all year around, it is extremely important to be diligent in the Summer months when you are outside more and the sun exposure is that much greater. Make sure you apply, at least, SPF 15 and reapply every 80 minutes to 2 hours. Stay on top of keeping your face well protected, especially your nose, forehead, and chin which can be more prominent with sunglasses. Wearing a hat and alternating with shade when able are additional ways to prevent too much sun and potential sunburn.
- When the weather is extreme (hello feeling HOT, HOT, HOT!), make sure to stay cool & hydrated! When temperatures start soaring, it can become dangerous to be outside for long periods of time.
- Speaking of hydration, make sure you drink the recommended amount of water daily; at least ½ your body weight in oz. and MORE if you are sweating and active.
- Focus on eating a balanced diet! The Summer months not only pose changes in your schedule but also change your dietary habits as well. Adding a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables at each meal - which should include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fats - will provide you with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and prevent less unhealthy snacking throughout the day!
- Wash your hands! An essential part of daily hygiene, making sure you wash your hands - and avoid touching your face as much as possible - is one of the easiest ways to decrease the risk of spreading germs, especially Covid-19. It, also, helps to minimize the potential risk of getting the common cold, flu, and other illness that this time of year begins to pose. Make sure to use warm/cold water, lather with soap for 20 seconds, and make sure to emphasize cleaning wrists, backs of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails!5
- If your teen has received the Covid-19 vaccine, it is important they continue to stay cautious and safe, especially since you can still pick up and transmit the virus to others. This includes being socially distant when possible, wearing a mask (if necessary), and practicing good hygiene as we have discussed thus far.6
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