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Teen-2-Teen: July 2021

Healthy habits start at a young age

 

by Sylvie Winje


It is estimated that one in two males and one in three females will get cancer at some point in their lives. Diabetes and heart disease continue to be on the rise. Those are scary statistics, yet we don’t have to live in fear if we proactively live a healthy and vibrant life by following the “three E’s”: eating well, exercise and emotional wellness.

The first healthy habit to incorporate is eating a clean diet. Get your family on board, too. If they are not into health, encourage them to watch documentaries or testimonials of people who have improved their health through their diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. It might be just the thing to motivate your family to make some positive changes.

The second habit is exercise. Make a goal of going outside for a walk every day. Studies have shown that when you connect with nature, you are less depressed, especially during the winter months. I have made a habit of walking outside every day in sunshine, rain or snow, although my neighbors probably think I am crazy for venturing out on blustery winter days. If you need accountability, ask a family member or friend to meet you for a walk. If walks are not your thing, find something else that gets you moving on a regular basis and make it a part of your day.

The final habit to instill as a teenager is to watch your emotions! Bitterness, stress and comparing yourself to others not only impact your emotional well-being, but your physical well-being. Write your thoughts in a journal and counsel with someone you trust. Also, look for ways to identify and remove stressors. Create a list of extracurricular activities, relationships, ministries and other activities, figure out what is stressful, and get it out of your life.

Finally, be happy with where you are. Be grateful for the wonderful life and body that God has blessed YOU with.

Setting healthy habits takes time and willpower, but making that decision while you are young can prevent future disease and provide numerous other benefits. By following the “three E’s,” you can enjoy a vibrant healthy life for years to come!

Sylvie Winje enjoys teaching piano and spending time with family. She plans to study piano performance at North Dakota State University. She is the daughter of Paul and Audrey Winje, members of Cass County Electric Cooperative.