Tuesday, August 26, 2014
What are is your teens doing for their health, are they truly Healthy? Health is not just the absence of disease. In my practice I see more and more teens not exercising, eating poorly and sick a LOT- why? They are not taking care of their health- so let us start teaching them early the importance of food, exercise and lowering stress levels.
We watch our babies, toddlers and young children closely to make sure they are getting play time, exercise, and proper nutrition to make sure they and their immune systems are healthy- but do we watch this with our teens and preteens as much? Generally as our children get older we take a more hands off approach as they get more mature, a 14 year old can easily make their own lunch- right? Are they making good choices for their health- have we taught them to make healthy food, read labels or have we done it for them?
Teens will often look for easy access food – often this is toxic junk food, such as pop, chips and energy drinks- these foods actually put chemical stress on the system lowering the immunity. This coupled with late night, lack of sleep, high stress levels, lack of exercise and rapid hormonal changes and growth= a recipe for lowered immune systems and illness. Teenagers need our guidance and support even more at this stage in development. Junk food can cause the body to become toxic, causing lethargy and lack of focus at school and elsewhere.
We need to start to empower our children to learn to take care of their health- teach them to read food labels, what is healthy food versus toxic food. Please take the toxic junk food out of your home to help them make good choices.
Teach them the following simple health habits:
1. Everyone should be drinking half their body weight in ounces of water each day, e.g. if you are 150 pounds then 75 ounces of water each day
2. encouraging them to exercise on a daily basis- 30 minutes at least a day
3. Greatly reduce screen and TV time- take these out of their bedrooms for adequate rest
4. Teach them how to read food labels properly
5. Teach them how to cook- not how to open a package and microwave to heat it up! K-D is not a healthy dinner
6. Sleep- this is best in a dark room with no light source- clocks, TV, IPods, Phones etc to disturb the normal sleep cycle – Need I say more with teens and the late night texts
7. Make a phone rule- no phone/texting from 10-7 am -this is rest time.
8. Decreases stress-there are 3 main stressors- Physical, Emotional and Chemical stress (poor food etc)
Physical Stress for teens- Poor posture, school, texting, driving, rapid growth spurts, backpacks- these should be no more than 10% of their body weight
Chemical stressors- junk food, environmental toxins, OTC or prescriptions drugs, street drugs, processed hygiene products-shampoos, makeup, hair dyes, hormones of puberty
Emotional stressors: teenagers are under a lot of stress from peers trying to fit in, bullying, cyber bullying, parental expectations, personal expectation, school, teacher stresses, and hormones of puberty as well
Dr. Joelle Johnson has practised in Red Deer For over 15 years, located at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness, 142 Erickson Drive. www.family1stchiro.ca 403-347-3261