High school can be a stressful time for students. Not only are they dealing with the pressure of academics, but they are also navigating social and emotional challenges. This can lead to several health problems. Additionally, students may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drugs or alcohol. To combat these problems, students need to take care of themselves properly.
So if you’re a high school student, you know how easy it is to let your health fall by the wayside. But that’s not an option! Your health is important, and you need to make time for it. Here are a few essential health tips for high school students:
Get enough sleep
You might not feel like you need as much sleep as you did when you were younger, but trust us—you do. Most high school students need around eight hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep will help you focus in class, perform better in extracurriculars, and avoid getting sick.
If you have trouble sleeping, try incorporating healthy habits into your day. For example, avoid looking at screens before bedtime, and try to limit the amount of caffeine you consume in a day. Additionally, it’s important to set aside time each night for relaxation—whether that means reading a book or taking a bath.
Eat healthy meals
When running from class to class, it’s tempting to grab whatever food is easy and convenient, even if it’s not the healthiest option. But just because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. And limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats.
If you’re short on time, try packing your lunches and snacks. This way, you’ll always have something healthy to eat on hand when hunger strikes. And consider keeping a few healthy frozen meals in the freezer for days when you don’t have time to cook anything yourself.
You don’t have to become a gym rat to reap the benefits of exercise—just 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week will do the trick. Exercise can help improve your mood, relieve stress, boost energy levels, and improve sleep quality. Plus, it’ll help keep your weight in check.
If you’re new to exercising or it’s been a while since you last did, start off slowly. Go for a walk or try a beginner’s exercise class. You can also find several at-home workout routines online that you can do in the comfort of your own home, whether it’s yoga, pilates, or simply going for a run around the block. It’s also important to choose an activity you enjoy—it’ll be much easier to stick with a fitness routine if you like what you’re doing.
Watch your weight
Gained a few pounds over the summer? Or maybe you’ve lost some weight recently and are feeling great about it? Either way, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight throughout high school (and beyond). If you’re unsure whether you’re at a healthy weight, talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional—they can help determine whether you need to gain or lose weight and how best to do so safely.
Take care of your mental health
Just as physical health is important, so is mental health! High school can be tough—there’s no denying that—but if you’re feeling overwhelmed or down more often than usual, talk to someone about it. Whether it’s a trusted friend, family member, teacher, counselor, or doctor, talking openly about how you’re feeling can make a world of difference. Don’t suffer in silence—reach out for help when needed.
Take care of your dental health
Many high school students think it’s no big deal if they don’t floss every day or avoid seeing the dentist regularly. But poor dental health can have serious consequences, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. These can negatively impact a teenager’s physical and emotional health, as having bad dental health can cause them to be insecure. So make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing at least once per day (if not more). And be sure to visit a dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups.
If you already have major dental issues, such as tooth loss, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources to help you get back on track. For example, if you have tooth loss, you can get dental implants that look and feel like your natural teeth. With a full set of teeth, you can feel confident and excited to take on the challenges of high school.
As a high school student, you might not think you have time for anything else but academics and social activities—but that’s not true! Your health should be a top priority during high school (and beyond). By following these essential health tips, you can ensure that your mind and body are performing at their best. So remember to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, watch your weight, and take care of your mental and dental health.