5 Tips for Teens to Stay in Shape

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As a fit teenager, older people tell me all the time that they wish they started training and getting into shape at my age. I personally believe teens should do everything in their power to maintain a healthy lifestyle and become the best version of themselves.

When I was 14 years old, I started going to the gym with my dad and began to fall in love the results. About one year later, I joined my high school football team and put all of my efforts into becoming the best athlete possible. This added even more motivation to get into the weight room and endure the blood, sweat, and tears that came with that level of dedication.

Eventually, I began to realize that my passion had evolved from the competition on the field, to a competition with my own mental and physical strength inside the gym. At school my peers started calling me “the buff guy” and “the jacked dude.” Comments like these drove my passion and determination even further.

For a while, in the beginning, I started to compare myself to others and what I found was that it only brought me down and didn’t help my long-term goals. I learned that the only person you should focus on being better than, is yourself.

As I progressed in my fitness journey I found that there were many challenges and plateaus that I would have to overcome. These challenges mostly had to do with my diet and the way I trained. I became crazed with finding the best foods to eat, the best ways to train, and gathering any and all information on how to become the best version of myself.

The following five tips will help you become healthier and become a version of yourself that you will fall in love with.

  1. Eat less fast-food, and choose a more improved diet.

As a teenager, getting a quick bite at a fast-food restaurant often becomes a habit and eventually a routine. Including more homemade meals, greens, and lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish. The nutrients from a healthier diet will make you feel less sluggish, more motivated and your skin will thank you for it.

MORE: Fast-Food Nutrition for Teens

  1. Get at least 8-9 hours of sleep.

Sleep plays a large role in our body’s ability to grow, heal, and function. Teens should shoot for around 8-9 hours every night to have the energy and focus that everybody needs throughout the day. I try not to go to bed later than 10 p.m. most nights.

  1. Cut down on soda.

Soda contains a lot of unecessary sugar and is linked to many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, and more. If you want to achieve the healthiest version of yourself, you should definitely cut soda out of your diet. Make a better choice like water, low-sugar sports drinks, etc.

MORE: Healthy Meal-Prep Choices During the School Year

  1. Drink more water.

Our bodies are made of about 60 percent water. It’s a crucial component of our body and staying hydrated will help daily performance, boost your metabolism, and keep your joints lubricated. I carry around a gallon of water with me all day every day.

  1. Take fish oil supplements.

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which help with joint inflammation, heart health, and can even lower blood pressure. Many people around the world have an omega-3 deficiency. Taking fish oil will maintain your omega-3 levels and make you healthier in general. Fish oil supplements have been part of my daily routine for the last year.

By Dominik Abbate; Photos by J. Martin Harris