7 Healthy Habits For Teens To Follow

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Children pick up different habits as they grow. Healthy habits for teens can go a long way in helping them lead a healthy and peaceful life in the future whereas poor hygiene or eating habits can be detrimental for them. However, adolescents are often seen to have more affinity towards bad habits such as unhealthy diet, untimely eating, irregular sleep routines, and inappropriate screen time. So, as a parent, how can you help your teenager inculcate good habits? Dive into this post as we take some measures to help you guide your child in picking up healthy habits.

In This Article

7 Healthy Habits For Teens

1. Establish healthy eating routines

Have breakfast with family rather than in front of TV
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Healthy eating isn’t limited to making healthy food choices. It also talks about following a regular and timely eating pattern. Instruct your teens to follow these healthy eating routines:

  • Have your breakfast every day.
  • Have your meals and snacks on time.
  • Have your meals on table along with your family, rather than gulping down food in front of TV.
  • Give yourself enough time to have your meals and avoid eating in a hurry.
  • Make sure your teen’s meal contains sufficient vegetables since they are rich in numerous nutrients and offer ample health benefits.
  • Ensure your teen drinks plenty of water daily. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is necessary to good kidney health, good skin, and energized muscles (1).

protip_icon Experts say
Psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, explains, “We eat more mindlessly in front of the TV. We also don’t taste and experience the food properly because we’re distracted.” This distraction causes us to ignore signs that we are full, leading to overeating (6).

2. Incorporate physical activity into your daily life

Encouraging your teen to engage in physical activities regularly is crucial for their overall health and well-being. According to the 2017-2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years was 19.7%. Encourage your teen to walk every morning, take your dog out, play some outdoor games or sports, jump on a trampoline, and stay fresh and active every day. Prevent your teen from sitting in front of the television or playing video games for hours (2). Make them a custom timetable that allows them to practice physical activity regularly. Gyming is another physical activity teens can incorporate into their daily routine.

Chris Davidson, a father and fitness instructor, shares how he helped his son start gyming. He says, “After failing my first attempt, where I overwhelmed him with too many ‘knowledge bombs,’ overly keen to make him love working out ASAP, I returned to the drawing board. I sat down and came up with six lessons I wanted to teach him over the course of a few visits to my training studio. I sneaked in these lessons between sets while we worked out together, as I was keen to avoid the whole thing feeling like school to him… I wanted to teach him the basic movements before diving into individual exercises. Setting this groundwork would also help him cope in a busy gym if the equipment he needed was unavailable — he would understand what else he could do to hit the same muscle group (i).”

3. Floss regularly

Another healthy habit for teenagers you should not forget to inculcate. Instruct your teen to brush their teeth every day before going to bed and after they wake up. Show them how to floss for one or two minutes. It will help them develop good oral hygiene. Flossing enhances the positive effects of brushing the teeth and prevents gum infections.

protip_icon Quick tip
If you find difficulty in sliding the floss between your teeth, it may be due to calculus deposition. To resolve this problem, visit a dentist to get your teeth scaled.

4. Establish a good sleeping routine

Reading before bedtime can help your teen sleep better
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Following a good sleeping routine will help your teen stay fresh and fit. Encourage your teen to follow a bedtime routine in their daily schedule that helps them relax due to:

  • Eating healthy and light before going to bed
  • Having a warm bath
  • Reading
  • Listening to pleasant, relaxing music
  • Going to bed at or nearly the same time every day
  • Make sure your teen turns off the computer, television, video games, and movies at least 30 minutes before retiring to bed (3).

5. Practice yoga and meditation

Practicing yoga exercises and meditation techniques daily can help your teen stay active and lead a fit and disciplined lifestyle. Yoga poses and meditation enhance the physical as well as the psychological health of teens and help them handle stress better than usual.

protip_icon Point to consider
Yoga may help children enhance their focus, memory, concentration, and understanding. It also improves their posture, balance, and coordination (7).

6. Stay away from alcohol and smoke

Teens often have a tendency to get influenced by peer pressure or have the inclination to try smoking or alcohol. However, smoking and drinking alcohol frequently can affect their health and behavior. Bad habits can increase the risk of lung disease, gastrointestinal ailments, and other life-threatening health problems. So, educate your teens about cigarettes and encourage them to stay away from smoking and alcohol (4).

7. Avoid spending hours online

Spending hours online can lead to internet addiction in teens
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Several studies reveal that teens spending hours online are more vulnerable to internet addiction. Internet addiction may lead to impaired cognitive functions in adolescence and also affect your teen’s eyes adversely. So make sure your teen doesn’t spend long hours online (7).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can teens manage their time?

Teens may manage their time by determining their goals and allotting specific times to finish each. They should be taught to identify distractions, such as phones and computers, and avoid the propensity towards procrastination. They may take study breaks, use soft music, and create an environment that supports their learning style and include it in their daily discipline. Overscheduling may also be harmful, and teens should stick to a practical work schedule that allows them free time for themselves (8).

2. How can parents encourage teens to develop good habits?

Since children learn from observing, parents need to be role models of good habits. Parents must follow the same habits they expect their children to follow. Setting appropriate and healthy rewards for good work and habits may also encourage teens (9).

3. How can teens improve their focus and concentration?

Completing one task at a time, setting a specific time for homework, screen time, and play, taking planned breaks, and breaking down bigger tasks into smaller chunks may help teens improve their focus and concentration. Additionally, breathing exercises may help reduce anxiety and improve focus and lead them toward a better way of life (10).

Healthy habits go a long way in defining a person’s future. Childhood and teenage years are the best time to develop healthy habits since young people are easier to mold. So, as parents, you should encourage healthy habits in your teenagers. Some habits for teens that you may teach them are developing good eating habits, incorporating physical activity in their daily routine, and getting adequate sleep. However, since teenagers get easily influenced by the outside world and their peers, they may show affinity toward bad habits. Hence, your constant support and encouragement are essential to keep them on track and lead them toward a healthy life.

Infographic: Tips For Teenagers To Eat Healthy

It isn’t difficult to follow a healthy eating lifestyle. Teenagers don’t need any strict food guidelines to eat healthily. Simple dietary changes are good, to begin with. Here are some dietary tips to help teens become their healthiest version. Don’t forget to save and share with your teen!

healthy eating tips for teens (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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Key Pointers

  • Physical activity should be included in a teenager’s routine while sedentary activities such as watching TV and video gaming should be minimized.
  • A good sleeping routine and proper oral and food hygiene habits should be encouraged.
  • To lower the risk of health problems, teenagers should avoid consuming alcohol and smoking.
  • Screen time should be limited and spending long periods online should be avoided to reduce the risk of internet addiction.
  • The practice of yoga and meditation can improve the physical and mental wellness of teenagers.
Habits For Teens_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Learn how to help your children develop healthy behaviors that enhance overall well-being. Discover useful ideas and tactics to ensure their long-term health and happiness.

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MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Hydration tips for children.
  2. Adolescents and Young Adults.
  3. Teens and sleep: Why you need it and how to get enough.
  4. Healthy habits for Kids teens and families.
  5. Hilarie Cash et al;(2012) Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice.
  6. Why we overeat while watching TV?
  7. Yoga for children.
  8. 3 steps for teens to master time management.
  9. Ways to encourage good habits in children.
  10. Tips for helping your child focus and concentrate.
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