I have five tips for teens on health and fitness; but first a little rant.
I ran across some tweets the other day that left me a little worried, mad, and saddened. When on Twitter, I try to send uplifting messages to people having bad day if I see them tweeting the blues. But the other day I saw several that really struck a nerve. They were from several young teenage women, and went something like this:
I need to lose weight. My parents are always telling me I’m fat. I hate myself! I hate my body!
I wish my mom would stop calling me fat 🙁
Let me say this: We are in the middle of an epidemic where a quarter of all children are overweight or obese – and it is not their fault! We have created this mess for our children – maybe not consciously, but nonetheless: I could write a long blog about the dangers of calling a child “fat”, and in it you would find sections on self-esteem, confidence, bullying, peer pressure, depression, eating disorders, and more. However, for this post I don’t want to focus on negative aspects of being an overweight teen. No. This is a post for any teenager or young adult that may happen upon this blog. A post for the girl that hates her body or the boy that is self-conscious about his physical appearance.
My message is this:
Being conscious about your body is normal thing. We all have probably been concerned about this at one time in our life. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Focus on being fit and healthy. Do not worry about being a particular weight, size, height, etc. It is okay to want to be fit and get the body that comes with it, but the only way this is done is by being active and eating healthy food.
Don’t listen to haters. They are out there. They always will be there and no one knows exactly why. It takes a strong person to filter out the negativity that others bring upon us. Each one of us is capable of this strength.
Don’t hate back.
It’s not always fair. There are people (especially teens with great metabolism) that drink soda, eat like crap, and do a few pushups here and there that somehow rock an amazing body. We have all had that friend(s). Don’t let it bug you.
We are our own worst critics. Often times we think of ourselves as “fat”, “ugly”, or “(insert negative image here)”. People in general focus on negative thinking. We can hear a hundred compliments – once one negative idea comes to mind, it erases all of the positive ones. Don’t let this happen (easier said than done, I know). Don’t be hard on yourself.
Be positive. Life is not perfect, but life is good! Without bad, there would be no good. Your feelings may get hurt – sometimes by people close to you. There is always hope for a better tomorrow. YOU have the power to see that the future is better, and you can make it happen 🙂
Alright, enough of my rant. Here are 5 health and fitness tips for teens:
- Don’t focus on weight. Focus on eating right and exercising. Sometimes we put on weight on the scale, but in the mirror we have trimmed down and look better with exercise and diet. Muscle weighs more than fat. Don’t be fooled by a scale.
- Stay away from junk food. Soda, pizza, and cake-type desserts are the biggest source of calories for most teens. These items are high in sugar and processed junk which can lead to unwanted fat.
- Do a planned exercise routine. Join a school sport; find a fitness class, fitness video, etc. Don’t just kind of go exercise. Make it fun, make it hard, and make it worth your time. Working with coach, trainer, or following a program will get you in great shape – whether it’s in coach in school sports, a trainer on a fitness video, or a personal trainer if you have the means; you can get great results with the right guidance.
- Look at the long term. You might not see results from a diet or exercise plan in one week or two weeks. Being consistent with a healthy diet and exercise plan can have dramatic results for months and years to come.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Not that anyone under 21 drinks, right? Look, I am not going to be naïve and think no one in high school is doing this junk. There are many reasons not to drink and do drugs: 1. it’s illegal 2. It kills people (I lost classmates and friends to it) 3. It has negative health effects. Here’s another reason: It is the enemy of building muscle and burning fat.
Have a blessed day! Stay healthy and stay fit. Stay encouraged and encourage a friend. Peace.