We’re all busy with school, work, friends and family, and all kinds of things that sometimes make it hard to stay healthy and active. It’s difficult finding time to work out when you have such a busy schedule, or too much homework to do when you get home from school. And it’s so easy to get into the habit of eating fast food when that’s where your friends go hang out, or if you don’t have time to make your own food at home. But taking the time to eat healthy and exercise can help you feel better not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.
Here’s what being active and healthy can do for you (besides keep you in shape):
- Improve your self-esteem
- Decrease feelings of anxiety and depression
- Help you do better in school
- Improve your mood and help you feel happier
- Help you feel better physically
- Help you sleep better
- Give you more energy
- Decrease stress
Exercising produces endorphins, which will instantly make you feel happier and more positive. So next time you’re really stressed about a test coming up, or you get in a fight with a friend or family member, try doing something active for just 20-30 minutes and see if it makes you feel better. Try going for a run, or just a walk if you don’t like running. Do some simple exercises in your room, like jumping jacks, squats, push-ups and sit-ups.
Also try to incorporate physical activity into your everyday life. Try walking to school instead of driving if you live close enough. Sign up to play a sport, or take a class, like dance, yoga, or karate. Go for a walk or bike ride with your friends instead of playing video games or watching TV.
You don’t have to go on a diet to start eating healthy. Just start making some changes, like:
- Eat more protein
- Switch to whole grains
- Eat good fats (like avocados, olive oil, and fish)
- Control food portions, make sure you aren’t eating too much
- Read food labels so you know what you’re putting in your body
- ALWAYS eat breakfast, because breakfast gets your metabolism going for the day
- Limit fast food, it’s okay every once in a while as a treat, just not everyday
- Re-think your drink, don’t drink as much sugary juice and soda, drink more water and iced tea
If you ever have problems with depression, stress, and anxiety, a healthier lifestyle WILL make you feel ten times better! Just start making small changes and you’ll notice the difference!