Focusing on your health in your high school years leads to immense health benefits as you grow up and age. Establishing the right habits early in life will make it that much easier to sustain them over longer periods of time. But why is focusing on your health so important and what can you do to make sure it remains a priority in your busy life? Follow our simple guide below and you’ll be well on your way to living a happy, healthy high school life!
Work Out Often and Stick to a Schedule
Establishing a sustainable exercise in routine is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health both in the current day and onward into the future. Working out on a routine basis not only helps you feel better on a day to day level, but it also promotes positive health benefits such as improved circulation, heart health, and weight loss. Each one of these positive effects can have compounding benefits in the form of increased confidence in your self-image and a better, more vibrant social life.
In the year 2018, 80% of Americans created New Year’s Resolutions focused on health and wellness. It’s sad to realize how many of those people start off on a strong foot, only to fail and go back to their old ways. Thankfully staying active in high school is not as difficult as it is in adulthood. There are many different kinds of sporting teams that students can join, regardless of their interests or experience levels. Depending on the size of your high school you may find that you have seemingly limitless options for health clubs and athletic teams. Into traditional fast spaced sports? Try joining the basketball or football team. More of a laidback type? Try out cross country running, swimming, or tennis. There are no excuses for staying on the sidelines. Get out there and exercise!
Joining a sports team will also help you form stronger social bonds with your classmates. Practicing and playing together is one of the greatest ways to stay healthy while making and building strong friendships. Fun additions such as sport-specific jerseys and outfits like new pickleball apparel and swim team shirts can create an ever-stronger social bond between members of the team and the rest of the school. Keep this in mind the next time you’re scared about getting out there. You never know what new friends you might be missing out on by not joining a sports team!
Don’t Forget About Eating Right
Of course no article on health would be complete without the mention of maintaining a healthy diet. We all know that we need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, yet it proves to be quite the Herculean effort for so many Americans. It’s no wonder why, either. Sugary, fatty, and salty foods are everywhere in modern society. While it’s tempting to go for junk food and fast food meals, you will pay a price for it later. Without the proper fuel, your body will have trouble digesting and maintaining its otherwise healthy routines. But there is hope. Once you establish healthy eating habits, it won’t take long to notice the positive benefits.
There is no shortage of health food blogs, YouTube channels, and books that can help to give you recipe ideas and daily health tips. Many of these same sources can also provide you with ideas for healthy, satisfying snacks. Going for a more specific diet such as gluten-free, plant-based, or Paleo? Alternative diets are more popular than ever before, and there is even more information for those who are interested in making the change.
If you find that you’re having trouble eating more fruits and vegetables with each and every meal, then try to start out small. Add one more serving of fruits and veggies to one meal per day. Then two. Then all three. These kinds of gradual improvements are much more doable and tend to create more lasting, long term behavioral changes. It’s also okay to allow yourself to have a cheat day from time to time. Just don’t go overboard and make sure you have the discipline required to get yourself back on track when the fun is over.
Know Where to Turn for Help
Preventative health measures are vital to staying afloat in high school and beyond. But sometimes no matter how many daily health tips you stick to, accidents happen. In such a case, it’s a wise idea to locate the closest urgent care center before an emergency arises in the first place. The last thing you want is to find yourself needing a hospital for wound care but not knowing where you can go for professional, timely help.
You should also be certain to maintain regular visits with a primary care physician. Even if you’re healthy and happy, it’s a good idea to go in for your usual check-ups. Doctors can guide you on making more positive changes, and they can also provide you with motivation and daily health tips that can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
You’ve probably noticed that mental health issues are gaining more traction in popular media. An increased awareness surrounding mental health is helping people all over the world get help for their problems while also having the strength to accept that they are more common than they may think. It is in the nature of many mental health issues, such as chronic anxiety, neuroticism, and depression to make you feel as though you are all alone. But it’s reassuring to know that this is just simply not the case. There is always help available. You just have to take the first step to reach out.
If you’re feeling lost, lonely, or in the dumps, sometimes a good talk with a close friend or family member can be just the medicine you need. A lot of the weight of mental health problems goes away once you permit yourself to talk about it. Getting things out of the shadows and into the light is quite a healthy process, and you should never feel any shame about seeking the right help. If you don’t have anyone close to talk to, or if you feel like they just wouldn’t understand, then reach out to a therapist. You can speak to a counselor at your local school, or search online for local therapist and psychologists in your area.
Turn to Art and Meditation When You’re Feeling Blue
Finding someone to talk to isn’t your only option when it comes to tackling difficulties with your mental health. As many great thinkers and creatives have discovered across time and history, engaging in an artistic practice of some sort can provide much-needed relief from the everyday grind. Whether you’re into music, painting, or fashion design, just taking up an artistic hobby will give you something constructive to focus on. Art also gives you the chance to channel your feelings into a medium outside of yourself. Practice long enough, and you may be even to turn your art into a long-lasting career path.
Meditation is another tool you can turn to in times of need. While most people think of meditation as a religious or spiritual practice, it does not have to be. In fact, there are many different styles and schools of thought around meditation. Finding one that works for you has incredible health benefits. As a daily health tip, it helps to know that meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve learning, and lead to a generally happier in disposition in those who practice each day.
Not sure where to begin? Try sitting in silence for five minutes. Follow each and every breath in and out. Don’t get mad if you find your thoughts drifting off to obligations from time to time. This is a perfectly natural part of the process. In fact, you might be inhuman if you didn’t find that your thoughts go astray after sitting still for a while! Simply remind yourself to return your focus to each breath. Congratulations, you have just completed your first meditation session.
If you’re looking for a more involved approach to meditation, then you can give guided meditations a try. There are many excellent mobile apps out there for you to try. Start by searching ‘guided meditation’ in the app store of your mobile device. There are also free resources available online and on YouTube, and in your local public library. Guided meditation is a great way to relax while also delving deeper into certain aspects of your thoughts.
Look Into Natural Medicines, Herbs, and Supplements
Taking herbal medicine isn’t just a trendy daily health tip like so many people think. Finding the right natural medicine can lead to enormous health benefits such as inflammation relief, better, more restful sleep, and higher energy levels throughout the day. Before taking any herbal supplements or natural medicines, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor. While many natural medicines are incredibly beneficial, some of them can have odd interactions with your existing diet and/or medications.
Use Massage Therapy to Relax and Reduce Stress
Massage therapy has proven to be an incredibly beneficial practice for all kinds of ailments, both physical and mental. It’s no surprise that the body and the mind are closely linked to one another. Often if you’re having problems with one, then you’ll notice the other is off track as well. Visiting a massage therapy session is an excellent daily health tip that can be used to deal with a whole slew of negative health problems from injuries to chronic stress and anxiety.
More and more medical research points to the detrimental effects that stress has on both our minds and our bodies. If you are feeling overly stressed, then your body’s stress chemicals and hormones, such as cortisol, are increased. This can create a whole host of nasty bodily side effects such as muscle tension, soreness, and shallow breathing.
Rediscover the Power of a Full Night of Sleep
Getting high-quality sleep is perhaps the most powerful, life-altering daily health tip that you could hope to come across. The health benefits of sleep are almost too much to list. But to keep things short high-quality sleep improves your mood, supports your immune system, aids digestion, makes your skin more clear, builds muscle, and restores valuable hormones in your system. And that’s just some of the benefits of sleep!
Because high school is such a busy, stimulating, and exciting time for so many people, sleep can be a challenge for many high school students. There are a few key tips you can follow if you find that sleep is proving to be elusive. For one, it’s helpful to avoid looking at screens of any kind for at least two hours before bed. Screens on smartphones, tablets, and televisions emit what is known as blue light. Blue light tells your body that it is time to be alert and awake, thus slowing the production of vital sleep hormones and chemicals such as melatonin.
As a similar daily health tip, you should also make sure that you are getting adequate sunlight over the course of your day. It’s quite an easy daily health tip, yet so many people forget to make sunlight a priority. Sleep also comes easier when you have a dark, cool room. If you find that your bedroom is plagued by bright street lights, consider getting some blackout shades or using a sleep mask. Finally, good sleep is also the result of a regular sleep schedule. Despite the challenges of wanting to stay up late or sleep in, try the best that you can to stick to a regular sleeping and waking time. If you follow these daily health tips, you’ll find that sleep is really one of your greatest superpowers!
While focusing on your health in high school is not always easy, you can see that there are immense benefits to doing so. If you ever need more daily health tips or advice, then remember that the information is always there for you. You just have to look! Have a great day and stay healthy out there!