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Healthy Habits Reboot: Help Your Teen Have a Strong Finish to Their Summer

Six habits to help your teen begin the school year feeling mentally and physically fit.

Has your teen gotten a bit lackadaisical about their responsibilities? Would your teen benefit from adding some healthier habits into their summer routine? Depending on where you live, your teen is about half way through their summer, so this is a great time to check in with them and get clear about how they REALLY spend their day.

It might be quite obvious to you what your teen is not doing, so revisiting your expectations while celebrating what they have been accomplishing is important to make sure your teen is feeling fit mentally and physically when the school year begins.

While adding habits that your teen would specifically benefit from incorporating into their day is the best place to start, below are my top six habits that ALL teens would benefit from adding to their summer routine.

Drink More Water

Drinking water is important all year long to stay hydrated and flush toxins, but during the hot summer months, it is even more important. I have found that some teens drink water all day long and others act like they are drinking poison.

  • If your teen lives in the being poisoned camp, then start by having them drink 16 oz of water before every meal. This is less than they need, but it is a good place to start with reluctant water drinkers.
  • If your teen likes to drink water, then divide their body weight by two to determine how many ounces of water they should drink everyday. (For example, a teen weighing 140 lbs needs to drink 70 ounces of water a day to remain properly hydrated.) If it is really hot or they exercise, they will need a bit more.
  • A great way for your teen to track their water is to put rubber bands on the top of a water bottle. Then every time they refill it, they move one rubber band to the bottom of the bottle. If your teen meets their goal, by the end of the day, all the rubber bands will be at the bottom of the water bottle. (The number of bands is dependent on the size of the water bottle and the amount of water needed to be consumed by your teen)

Be More Active

Some teens are happy to be sedentary all day long while others are naturally active and don’t need any prompting to get moving during the day. However, even if a teen exercises for an hour a day, if they sit for the rest of the day, then they are still a couch potato. When I work with teens, I teach them how to work movement into their schedule all day long.

  • Burst training throughout the day is a great option to get teens to be more active. Encourage your teen to complete a one minute burst every sixty seconds. Your teen chooses an exercise like jumping jacks or squats and does it as quickly as they can for 40 to 60 seconds. The goal is to go as fast as they can so that they make it to 40 seconds and are breathing heavily at or before the one minute mark. To learn more about motivating teens to enjoy being more active go here.

Limit Snacks

Summertime is full of impromptu get togethers which often involve food and heading out for ice cream is a favorite summer pastime for many. In order to ensure that your teen isn’t just eating snacks all day long, set clear boundaries around snacking.

  • Limit the Quantity: You and your teen should agree on a realistic goal for the number of servings per day. This will be depend on age, activity level and whether or not they are growing. (Be sure your teen knows what a serving size of their favorite snack looks like.)
  • Time of Day: You can also set times when snacks can and cannot be consumed. Perhaps no snacks before 3:00 PM or no snacks after 10:00 PM could work. You could also decide that snacks can only be eaten paired with a healthier option like a piece of turkey or fruit.

Get Reading

Most teens are required to read certain books for the upcoming school year. Some teens hate to read and will always avoid it. However, even teens who enjoy books like my kids, sometimes resist reading in the summer. Below are two great strategies to create the habit of daily reading. (To learn more tools to help your teen finish their summer reading with ease, go here.)

  • Set a specific time to read each day.
  • Set the number of pages your teen must read each day.

Limit Screen Time

As parents, we have the opportunity to help our teens find a balance between having fun on a screen and using a screen as an escape without the need to be a screen police all day long. (Click here for more strategies to help you teen limit their screen time.)

  • Pick times of the day that your teen may not be on their screens. You might designate before breakfast, during meals or after 10:30 PM as a screen free time.

Develop a Daily Relaxation Practice

Summer time tends to be a less stressful time of the year for many teens. It is a perfect opportunity for your teen to pick a strategy and develop the habit of relaxing and incorporating a bit of silence into their day. This way, when their days do become more stressful, the habit is already formed.

  • I have put my top 5 strategies to help your teen relax into a printable guide. Grab a copy of my FREE Stress Less Guide here so you can help your teen manage expectations better, experience more success and be happy and healthy in school and beyond.

Originally published at www.claireketchum.com

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