New Year, New You-Health Goals for Teens in 2022

The new year brings forth an opportunity for a fresh start. It is a great moment to set resolutions and goals for the next 365 days ahead.  To reflect and take note of what areas you would like to improve on and grow and what areas you may
need to let go of and stop doing altogether.  I will share health goal ideas, primarily targeted towards what 90% of our health and wellness is built around: food, sleep, and movement; what I like to call the BIG 3. 

Let’s take a look at possible resolutions focusing on the BIG 3. 

FOOD

Sugary drink consumption for kids and teens has been a significant contributor to overweight youth and diabetes/prediabetes.  Cutting back or entirely cutting out sugary drinks like sodas, juices, sports drinks, and specialty coffees could very well be the best resolution you make towards your overall health in 2022.  Liquid sugar is difficult for your body to digest and is stored directly as fat.  Another food to consider cutting back on would be ultra-processed foods.  Today, two-thirds of youth diet comes from ultra-processed foods.  Ultra-processed foods include chips, candy, cereal, and other packaged foods.  These foods are full of toxic chemicals and are hard to find natural food ingredients.  Fortunately, there are new healthier packaged food brands on the market that don’t contain as many dangerous ingredients that lie in most of the typical pre-packaged foods.  

Other food goals include:

SLEEP

Getting adequate and quality sleep could single-handedly make the most considerable impact on your health.  One of the most prominent sleep disruptors is screens, particularly from the phone. The light from screens negatively affects the hormones that get us ready and help us stay asleep. Setting a goal to turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bed could dramatically improve your sleep quality and quantity.  Another solid sleep goal would be having as close to the same bed and wake-up time, seven days a week.  Your body loves familiarity, and having the same sleep/wake time will make it much easier to fall asleep at night and wake in the morning. 

Other sleep goals include:

MOVEMENT

Being sedentary is as bad for your health as smoking.  Movement is life!  Move, and move often.  Track your movement with a smartwatch or device.  A daily step count goal is an excellent place to start. Aim to get at least 10,000 steps per day.  Another movement goal would be to move every hour.  Get up and move if you find yourself sitting or sedentary for more than an hour.  Go outside, walk the dog, do jumping jacks, stretch, or practice a skill in your favorite sport.  Moving frequently will put you in a better physical condition and put you in a better mental state. 

Othe movement resolution ideas:

Strategies for Setting Resolutions

When you come up with your goals, be as detailed as possible to know if you successfully reached your goal. Remember that creating new goals does not have to be about adding or trying something new to improve your health. It could be what you will consume less of or avoid altogether that will make the most significant impact, such as not drinking sodas or not being on a device at a specific time at night.  Lastly, don’t overdo it on the resolutions.  Stick to three or so and pursue them relentlessly. Remember, it is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Other strategies include:

To MAS health,

Michael

 

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