by Katherine Barton
As teenagers, the only time many of us worry about our health is when we are trying to slim down before spring break or another major event or holiday. However, if our outlook is that we only worry about our health for certain periods of the year, the rest of the year our health may suffer. It is important to be aware of our nutritional intake even at a young age when we are usually more active because we are still developing. You may be surprised by different nutrients that you are missing or exceeding.
Different people have specific nutritional ranges they should meet everyday. A great resource to find those values is MyFitnessPal, which can be downloaded as a free app. Factors that tie into one’s goal nutritional values are age, activity level, gender, etc. With the MyFitnessPal app, you can log your daily food intake and see how that matches some goal nutritional values with a very helpful graphic. It is also possible to log exercise which can impact nutritional goals.
Although many students participate in sports throughout the year, it is very important to maintain an exercise regimen to fulfill throughout the week, all year. It is generally recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Gym memberships and weights can be very expensive, however, so I recommend the free routine videos posted on YouTube, some of which require only your bodyweight to build muscle. YouTube trainers also can collect a following, so you can join their community and update them on your progress if you want that sort of motivation.
For a healthy diet, everyone must find their own strengths and weaknesses. Solutions such as adding protein powder into common foods and choosing sugar-free options can make a larger difference than is generally thought. There are countless “healthy” recipes and alternatives to favorite foods, so go try some! A personal favorite of mine is from Jo Cooks: