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How To: Get on a Health Kick

If watching the Olympics has you on a health kick, we don’t blame you. Who wouldn’t want to be as strong and fit as Missy Franklin?

Did you know that 1 in 3 American kids and teens are obese? According to the American Heart Association, because of the increasing rates in obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity amongst American Youth, this generation is more likely to have a shorter life span than that of their parents. Despite the startling numbers, there’s no reason to become another statistic. Creating a healthy and active daily regimen can help you keep your weight down and mind right.

My friends have been talking about daily challenges to get into better eating habits and adopt daily workout routines that we’ve taken on during the Olympic Games. For example, day one started with a bowl of oatmeal. Toward the middle of the day, they exercised for 30 minutes and ate a salad with no dressing. On day two, they decided to get their mind focused by doing an early morning yoga routine. And on day three, they practiced longer workouts; this time for 45 minutes and they stuck to their healthy food diet. The pattern continued and intensified for the following days.

Think about making a daily challenge for yourself and continue with it even after the games have ended.

Missy Franklin, 17, the first three-time gold medalist in the London Games,  says when she won her third gold medal, she pushed herself in the last 25 meters although her body was hurting. Consider taking a note from Missy’s playbook and the next you work out, push yourself past your usual limit. Each time you
exercise, go a little harder and faster than your previous workout.

Olympic gymnast, Stephen McCain, says that he used to think a carb diet would provide him the energy he needed, but he realized that he performed better when he controlled his carb intake. Gymnasts usually want 60 ? 70 percent of their calories to come from protein (like meats and cheeses) and the rest to come from carbs (like grains, fruits, and veggies) and fats (like oils from peanuts).

And finally, it?s the idea of keeping your dreams at arm?s length that?s kept the gold medal in reach for gymnast, Gabby Douglas, 16. Gabby is dedicated to her life as a gymnast, which is why her raw talent has brought her all the way to the top, as Women?s Olympic all-around gymnastics champion. 

Staying fit and healthy is all about creating a regimen you?ll stick to, maintaining that healthy diet and constructing a determined mindset. Ultimately, being healthy and active are essential to lifestyle changes.

Here?s a few things you can do to keep your mind and body in check.

  • Avoid large consumptions of sugar and calories. Teens are more at risk for adult health problems, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis due to over-consumption of sugary and caloric foods.
  • Avoid fast-food restaurants. That’s a pretty straightforward thing you can work on.
  • Eat well. Take a look at some food guidelines. Are you getting the recommendations you need on a daily basis?
  • Make a habit of including an hour of moderate to intense workouts in your day. It?s okay if you can?t workout for 60 minutes one shot. Take breaks. Workout in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals instead.
  • Avoid things that stress you out. For teens, the list of things that can do this is pretty endless, but making an effort to focus on the positive can help. 

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