What is the best way for teenagers to stay fit and healthy?

Teenagers are youngsters between 13 and 19 years of age. As teenage years are the period that most of our growing occurs, it is of vital importance that teenagers stay fit and healthy to facilitate the process.

In my opinion, the best way for juveniles to gain good health and fitness is through having a balanced diet, an active lifestyle and a good nightís sleep.

Eating a balanced diet is a vital part of maintaining good health as it provides the essential nutrients required for growth. Each of our meals should contain the 7 components of a balanced diet - carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats, protein, fibre and water - for optimal health. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, poultry and fish contribute to a balanced diet. Organic foods are better by comparison with inorganic ones as the former are grown or farmed without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones and antibiotics which can be detrimental to our health. Since about 60 percent of our body is made up of water, consuming adequate water is also an important factor. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water is the ideal amount for an adolescentís body to function well.

The human body is built for movement. If we lead a sedentary lifestyle, health problems are prone to arise. Hence it is wise to exercise a few times a week for about half an hour each session. Even doing domestic chores, which brightens your parents up, is better than nothing at all. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen our heart and lungs while stretching reduces the risk of injury by increasing flexibility. Strength training helps to strengthen our muscles. Other benefits of doing exercises include preventing obesity and osteoporosis, improving blood circulation and combating depression.

Sleep is crucial to our health because when we sleep, our body undergoes repair, growth and detoxification. For instance, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels. As such, teenage boys and girls should get quality sleep of about 9 hours each night. Sleep improves brain performance and therefore teenagers with sufficient sleep tend to learn and memorise more effectively. Thus, they also tend to perform better academically. Apart from that, sleep also helps to prevent inflammation and obesity, spur creativity, reduce stress levels and boost our immune system, among many other advantages. Therefore, it is important to cultivate good sleep habits like going to bed at the same time every night and make sure that your bedroom is dark and quiet when you go to sleep.

Although there are numerous other ways for teenagers to stay fit and healthy, the 3 factors mentioned above are some of the most effective, from my point of view. Undeniably, teenagers today face more challenges and pressure. It is therefore essential for them to realise the importance of staying fit and healthy in order to live life to its fullest and tackle challenges and problems that come along with confidence.