When you reach the age of 10-11 years, you will notice sudden changes in your body. You will become taller, gain weight/muscle mass, your shoulders will widen and so on, but don’t worry. This is a part of the process of you reaching and entering into adulthood. However, to support your growth, you need nutritious food, regular exercise, and adequate rest. Healthy food will provide sufficient nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and calcium to your body to support its growth. Good exercise will also tone your muscles and keep you active. Also, remember to take enough rest because your body needs it to be healthy.

During your teenage phase, you need extra nutrients to support bone development, and hormonal changes, and to enable the healthy growth and development of tissues as well as the proper functioning of the brain. As a teenager, you will want to make your own choices regarding food, sports, clothes, and more but it is important for you to choose a healthy diet over fast food. Most fast foods don’t provide enough nutrients that your body needs during the growth spurt phase. There is an old proverb, (you must have heard of it) that says, “Health is wealth.” People enjoying sound health enjoy their lives in all of its many aspects, be it physically, mentally, socially, intellectually, and financially.

Worried About Weight Gain? Or Being Too Thin?

During your teenage years, you may gain weight or remain thin. Remember one thing: we all are different. Growth doesn’t occur equally among people. Some will gain muscle faster while some will become taller faster and that’s alright. Don’t try to compare yourself with your peers and don’t do something that they are suggesting you do so that you look like someone else that isn’t you! Don’t idolize film stars and get obsessed with having a body like them. They are trained by professionals in order to achieve those coveted six packs. Don’t go for dieting fads in order to become thin and don’t try to overeat to become fat. You are at the stage of a once-in-a-lifetime growth spurt. Your body will naturally adjust itself to its demands. As far as you are able to carry out your daily chores, can play and enjoy your games, you are fine. It doesn’t matter if you’re thin or fat, taller or shorter, or have dark or fair skin. You are unique in your own way. Cherish that.

Exercise - Why is It Important? And How Do You Know You’ve Exercised Enough for the Day?

Exercise will keep you fit and active. Physical activities will help you burn excess fat in your body. It will help you to keep your heart healthy and avoid health-related complications. Physical activities not only keep your body toned but also strengthen your muscles and bones, keeping the wheels of your brain lubricated and active. An hour of daily physical activity or exercise will also keep your mind healthy. It reduces the risk of stress and depression. It will keep your study-related anxieties at a safe distance from you.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, teenagers should get approximately sixty minutes of physical activity each day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean having to undergo a serious exercise or gym routine. Simply jogging with your friends or a stroll at your nearest park is more than enough. Those who have pets can take them out for a walk. Joining your school cricket or football team is also a great idea to keep your body going. Moreover, your physical education classes are an excellent way to get an hour of physical exercise into your daily schedule. Doing some yoga is also an important activity to remain healthy. Watch Youtube videos to learn and practice yoga if you cannot go to classes. After all, any physical activity will help you to maintain a positive body image.

How to Avoid Injuries While Exercising?

Injuries can happen to anyone at any time, but following certain basics can reduce the chances of you getting them during exercise or playing sports.

  • Gear: Always wear safety gear that is related to your sport or exercise. This could mean wearing helmets while batting or wearing gloves while goal-keeping. Always wear sports shoes.

  • Learn the proper technique: Before engaging in any exercise, first, learn all the correct techniques to perform them. Ask your gym instructor or your P.T. teacher to show you the right ones.

  • Warming up: It is never good to start any exercise or to play games without warming up. Warming up prepares your body for exercises and helps to loosen your muscles and joints in order to avoid injuries and sprains. It helps you to gradually increase your heartbeat. Have you seen our Indian cricket team on the field before any match? Usually, the cricketers will be jogging or doing light exercises. Yes, they do this to avoid sports-related injuries. You could also ask your P.T. teacher to show you some warming-up activities.

  • Cool down: After exercising or playing sports, try to walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help you cool down and will aid in bringing your heart rate down gradually.

  • Always listen to your body and don’t overdo any exercise.

The Right Age to Start Lifting Weights

There is no definite age to start lifting weights. As far as you understand the rules and follow them, you are good to start lifting weights. Always listen to your instructors and follow the guidelines given by them.

The Importance of Taking Rest

Sleep is food and fodder for the brain. When you sleep, important body functions and brain activity takes place. Not getting enough sleep will have adverse effects on your body. It will also negatively impact your performance in school. You will be sleepy during the day and your concentration level will go down. Like oxygen, sleep or rest is very important for you and will help you perform well in your academic as well as personal life.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, as a teenager, you need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day. However, as a general rule of thumb, if your answers to the following questions are no, then you are well rested:

  1. Are you sleepy during the day?

  2. Do you find it difficult to wake up early in the morning?

  3. Are you always late for school?

  4. Do you feel tired every time you do a little work or play just a little?

If your answer to the following questions is yes, then you are not getting enough rest/sleep. It’s time for you to reconsider your daily routine.

Tips for ensuring good sleep:

  1. Maintain a daily routine and follow it

  2. Limit your screen time

  3. Avoid looking at your phone or TV before you sleep

  4. Read a book in bed

  5. Avoid caffeine

  6. Drink a warm glass of milk

  7. Exercise daily

  8. Talk to your parents or doctors or your teacher if sleep deprivation occurs

  9. Maintain personal and sleep hygiene (i.e., keep electronic devices away from you when you sleep)