Top 5 Ways to Help Your Teenager Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

This post was sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own

My weight problem began at a young age. My grandparents made me eat everything on my plate before I was allowed to get down from the table. I feel that this mentality didn’t teach me how to maintain a healthy weight at an early age. Nor was I taught proper portion controls. One day, I was eating a snack at the babysitter’s house when my dad came to pick me up.  He scolded me in front of everyone that I didn’t need to be eating ice cream cone. I was overweight at the time, and today I still struggle with my weight.

When I became a mom, I knew that it was my job to teach my kids about healthy habits. I wasn’t going to restrict certain foods necessarily, but I was going to make it a point to make sure that I taught my kids how to make healthy choices at an early age. I even wrote my teenage son a letter last year about making healthy choices especially with obesity on the rise including childhood obesity.

In recent years, I started focusing on holistic health as a way of life. I feel that wellness focuses on the following components: mind, body, and soul. Not only do I focus on proper nutrition, but I also do my best to keep my children active, take care of all of their physical and emotional needs, and make sure that they participate in community programs such as the Boys & Girls Club of America.

If you remember in February of last year, I wrote a huge confession and admitted that I didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle. A heart to heart conversation with my husband and with the help of physical therapy, I was able to overcome many small obstacles that I once thought were impossible. I was listening to the lies that were playing in the back of my head. Yes, there are still some days when my pain leaves me on the couch or in bed. Other days, I can do a few things in small chunks including walking. All of the small changes that I made last year, made a huge difference and I am trying to continue with my weight loss journey. My journey so far has taught me that I FEEL BETTER WHEN:

  • I try to eat healthy every day
  • walk when I am able
  • stretch on a regular basis
  • get outside and soak up the sunshine
  • continue losing weight – last year I lost 40 lbs, and my husband lost 50 lbs
  • modeling healthy habits so that my kids see the small changes
  • teach my kids proper portion control

Have you ever heard of the Boys & Girls Club of America? They launched a program called Triple Play which is hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help promote a healthy lifestyles program.  BGCA in conjunction with their partners, including Coca-Cola and Amerigroup. Together they are aiming to combat the growing rate of childhood obesity among our nation’s youth. Since launching this program in 2005, Triple Play has made close to 10 million connections with kids to share the importance of physical activity, and proper nutrition through the program’s three components focused on mind, body, and soul.

Physical Activity

With childhood obesity on the rise, parents need to be attentive and encourage their child to participate in physical activity on a regular basis. The CDC recommends that children and teenagers get an hour of moderate exercise every week to get their heart rate up. Children especially teenagers don’t get the recommended exercise since schools removed physical education programs on a daily basis. For many children, this was their only form of physical activity.

Spring is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to come up with a plan to help your kids/teenagers get in an hour of moderate exercise in on a daily basis. There is a wide variety of exercises to suit any picky child or teen. You just have to figure out which activity that will motivate them to exercise on a regular basis. I would love to challenge the parents to get involved too. As a parent, you can start exercising to improve your health and model healthy exercise habits even if you are just walking. Plus, exercising with your child or teenager is a great bonding experience too.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy meals is equally important as getting adequate amounts of physical activity. When I go to the grocery store, I always pick out several different healthy foods items for my children to pick out. I don’t restrict them from eating certain foods; instead, I teach them that they can have an occasional treat. My goal is to teach them how to pick healthy food choices and proper portion sizes. If your kids aren’t used to eating healthy, continue to encourage them to try the new food choices or even let them show you foods that they want to try at the grocery store.

My teenager tends to eat a ton, and we have warned him that if he continues with those same eating habits as an adult that it will eventually catch up with him. Right now he has a high metabolism and has a tough time gaining weight.

Remember to encourage your child to make food healthier choices and praise them when they do. Small changes do make a difference.


Most kids don’t appreciate the value of getting a quality education until they are adults. Now is the time to ensure that they are learning new skills so that they can apply the skills that they learned. These skills are necessary to help them prepare for the future and to be able to land a job in a few years.

As they are growing up, use this time to educate them on how to make long-term healthy choices such as portion control, preparing meals at home, chores, banking, etc.

Mental Health

Mental health is often overlooked especially in children or teenagers. Kids are often afraid of voicing their concerns. It is also, a subject that often swept under the rug because we don’t want to admit that mental health problems are going on in the family. However, mental health is an essential part of the equation, and it isn’t something that anyone should have to feel uncomfortable asking for professional help. When we have a healthy mental outlook on life, things tend to fall into place. Lack of a healthy mental state, can leave you feeling blue, in the dumps, or even become suicidal.

Children and teenagers tend to withdraw like a turtle going back into their shell to hide from danger. Parents need to pay close attention to their child’s body language and behaviors. Body language and behavior problems often arise when your child is struggling.


Top 5 Ways to Help Your Teenager Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Most teenagers are attached to their cell phone and don’t have many face to face conversations even at school. Kids need to know how to properly communicate with their peers and people that they don’t know. The Boys & Girls Club of America is a wonderful community that helps foster socialization during Club Youth and other activities. It helps teach them how to sustain positive relationships.

Teenagers are often influenced by social media, magazines, commercials, and fashion experts try to tell them that their self-worth is based on their outward appearance. As parents, we know that this way of thinking leads to self-destructive behaviors. Now is the time to teach your teenager that way of thinking is wrong. Boys & Girls Club of America wants to help parents change this destructive behavior. They are devoted to helping parents build up their child’s self-esteem in a positive manner. This will help them, later on, to be able to cope with positive and adverse situations.

Teenagers are easily impressionable, and it is time for you to step up to the challenge to help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Even if you make small changes, just like I did last year, it does make a difference.

Download the Triple Play Game Plan so that you can help come up with a family plan that focuses on keeping your family healthy using the three components: mind, body, and soul. I love that their key mantra lines up with my way of thinking. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America at the start of this New Year, as many people recommit to improving their health and wellness practices.

Top 5 Ways to Help Your Teenager Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

How would you answer the following question? I FEEL BETTER WHEN:

Have you ever heard of the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Triple Play campaign?