Caring for your body

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Your body has to last a long time. Exercise, good sleep habits, and making healthy food choices are important habits to start now. The better you care for your body, the more energy you'll have to do the things you want to do.

  • Drugs and alcohol. Substance use can lead to major health, school and social problems, and makes people do stupid things. Your brain is still developing and drugs and alcohol can have a big impact on your future.  
  • Exercise. You don't have to run 10 miles a day to be healthy. Stay active doing things you love, like dancing, walking with friends, or school sports — and know what to do if you get injured.
  • Good sleep habits. Between homework, music, and texting with friends, it's hard to get to sleep before midnight. But most teens need 9 hours of sleep a night for their brains to get the rest they need.
  • Healthy body and weight. Learn about eating disorders — what are the risks, and where to find help.
  • Healthy food. Fast food, school cafeterias, and convenience stores may be an easy way to fuel up, but the food you buy there isn't going to give your body the nutrition it needs. Choose real foods when you can — fruits, vegetables, whole grains (like 100 percent whole-wheat bread), chicken, and other lean meats. Read the ingredients on food labels — if you can't pronounce an ingredient, don't eat it. Real food comes from nature, not from a factory.
  • Smoking, tobacco, and other nicotine-containing products (such as e-cigarettes). Don't start. It's addicting and quitting is really hard. Teens and tobacco don't mix.
  • Sex and sexuality. Learn to take care of your relationships and sexual health.
  • The care you need. How do you get it? Find out what to do about checkups, health questions, and more.

Reviewed by: Robert Riewerts, MD, 2018

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