Positivity through living a healthy lifestyle

Kaitlyn Rosenbaum

In the life of any teenager, living healthy is easier said than done. It is simple enough to set goals to exercise, eat healthier, relieve stress and sleep more. The difference is made when these habits are bound into everyday life.

It can be a challenge maintaining a steady balance between exercising, eating a healthy diet and sleeping the required number of hours each night. Athletic trainer Ed Dudley suggests many elements to incorporate into a routine when striving for good health.

With the heavy workload that high school students collectively share, it’s normal to become stressed out from day to day. An easy way to relieve stress and take a break from the workload is to find a few times each week to exercise. “The best exercise is the one you enjoy and will continue to do,” Dudley said. The activities one can do to stay active are endless. Biking, lifting or even playing tennis are all effective options. While these options may seem overwhelming to some, “the most underrated exercise is walking. It’s what we are designed to do,” Dudley said.

Finding constructive ways to deal with stress may help one’s busy life seem less cluttered. According to the Network’s October Google survey, Marian student’s favorite ways to relieve stress are sleeping, doing face masks, listening to music, listening to meditation videos, and playing with dogs.

When it comes to eating healthier, Dudley said, “Eat whole foods, not too much, mostly plants.” Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and free from additional substances. Examples of these foods are wheat and quinoa, nuts and seeds, beans and all fruits and vegetables. If these foods are unappealing, experimenting with new recipes can be exciting and lead to discovering a new favorite meal.

“My favorite meal is Greek chicken, pearlized couscous, garbanzo beans, with spinach, sliced grape tomatoes and feta or goat cheese,” Kira Bravo ’19 said. Bravo has played soccer and ran cross country throughout high school, and has strived to live and eat healthy.

Eating healthier opens awareness to what foods one is feeding their body. “Minimize fast food, processed foods and man-made foods,” Dudley said.

Another tip for eating healthy is controlling the timing of one’s meals. “Eat your food within our natural ‘circadian rhythm.’ Try to be done eating by 6 p.m., 7 at the latest,” Dudley said, “Give your body a 12-hour break from food.” It’s completely beneficial to feel a little hungry between each meal. Often, this feeling is a sign that one’s body is thirsty. “Sipping water throughout the day is superior to gulping down large mouthfuls,” he said. Drinking water as the day goes on increases brain activity and provides energy. Bravo said, “I try to drink 3-4 water bottles a day. Each are about 24oz.” When one eats or drinks is just as important as what one eats.

While healthy habits can significantly contribute to living a fulfilling life, all of these should be considered in moderation. Eating a bag of chips or missing a day of working out is not an end-all situation. Making small exceptions has the opportunity to teach one self control, while becoming aware of the food one puts into their body. Everything depends on the person; something may work for one person, but not the other. However, any steps taken to live a healthier life can bring positivity and inspire others to do the same.

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