Health Tips

While juggling schoolwork, friends, family, relationships and sometimes jobs, teen girls sometimes don’t make the best choices when it comes to their health. But creating good habits early is essential to being happy and healthy later on.

 That’s the message from Drs. Mehmet Oz, Michael Roizen and Ellen Rome, who have collaborated on a new book, You: The Owner’s Manual for Teens. Here are a few of their tips

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Realize that you control what goes into your body

And your body will love you for it. The health benefits of eating vegetables are almost to numerous to list, but most importantly, they’re packed with fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients, which promotes good digestion, weight control and healthy organs.

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Realize that it’s never too late to start adopting healthy habits

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You get a do-over. Even if you’ve spent your childhood on a diet of soda and chips, it’s not too late to make a change to get your body in a better place. It takes only two weeks to form a habit, so simple changes now will pay great dividends down the road. Start simple (try some raw veggies to get your crunch fix) and build up.

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Walk 10,000 steps a day (about five miles)

They don’t have to be all at once (but heck, you probably do a chunk of it at school every day). Make it a point to be active and get your body moving. Setting a tangible goal (like 10,000 steps a day) is a great way to start if you’re not already active.

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Have one buddy who shares your ideals about living a healthy lifestyle

Find a friend who you’re comfortable talking with about healthy habits. Social networks (the live and in-person ones!) are so important to helping you develop self-esteem and a value system. Find positive people around you who can support you and share some of your goals.

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Avoid known toxins

Avoid toxins such as tobacco, bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, and toxins found in dry cleaning and some cosmetic products. That means stay away from formaldehyde (found in some Brazilian Blowouts, “smoking water,” and embalming fluid).

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Avoid the major categories of unhealthy foods

Stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar, added syrup, non-100 percent whole grains. Start looking at food labels and trying to ID these unhealthy foods and ingredients.

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Eat cruciferous vegetables

Enjoy some cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, and arugula three times a week. They’re disease-fighters, they’ll fill you up, and the crunch will help take the edge off about that math test tomorrow.

Take a multivitamin every day and get your recommended daily amount of calcium through food or supplements as well as vitamin D and omega-3 fats.

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Have your waist size equal less than half your height (in inches)

Try not to obsess over your weight (in fact, it’s better to have a healthy range of ideal weight, so you can account for natural body fluctuations). But the best number to determine whether you’re a healthy size is using that formula. So if you’re 66 inches tall, your waist should be under 33 inches.

 This post is an excerpt. For the original article and more teen health tips, click here:

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