I’m Regina, I’m 15 years old and love the idea of keeping myself a fit and healthy teenager, but sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems!

These years are a vital time to start healthy habits that will stick with you throughout your life! It can be difficult to remember that your lifestyle now can affect you in the future. Changing little things now will make being healthy and happy easier later on.

Beat the stress

Being a teenager can be stressful and a lot of the time gorging on unhealthy foods can be a way to relieve that stress. However, this makes our bodies less healthy and makes us feel worse. What I try to do about this is finding foods that I love, but that my body loves too! Berries and exotic fruits are great snacks to help a sweet tooth which I know I have, or on them days I can’t resist some chocolate I opt for some 70% dark chocolate to indulge on.

Pack up your lunchbox

Lunchtime in school is a great time to catch up with friends but is also a time to refuel and stock up on nutrients to keep you going for the rest of the day. It’s easy to take the lazy route and buy a roll in the shop or whatever is on the menu in the canteen that day, but a few minutes of preparation the night before will save you from making unhealthy choices during the day. A sandwich with brown bread, a turkey and bacon wrap or a salad with chicken or turkey are great easy options for lunchtime. You can even make a big portion of soup or pasta and freeze it to bring into school over the week. The winter warmer bean soup recipe is a perfect one to bring in a flask in the cold weather!

Snack right for studying

As a teenager, life is all about exams, and to help yourself get the most out of your study sessions it is important to stay healthy and give your body food that will boost your brain. My favourite snacks to pick on while studying or doing my homework are crudités with hummus, pistachios or fruit like blueberries or strawberries. One of my favourite ways to get fruit and veg into my diet is a yummy smoothie. They’re so easy and quick to make but give you so many good nutrients, the kale and pineapple smoothie or the raspberry and lime are ones I love!

Get outside with friends

Your teenage years mean making friends and memories that will stay with you forever. Going out on the weekends or having movie nights in is what being young is all about, but it can be hard to make healthy choices when you’re with friends. Easy things to do when eating out include asking for no fries or no bun, the sauce on the side, and a side salad or extra veggies with your meal.

When staying in with your friends try stay healthy and drink water instead of fizzy drinks, eat fruits or vegetables with dips instead of bags of sweets and even make your own fakeaway to share instead of ordering in. It can be a fun activity to look up recipes of some of your favourite dishes and try them out, the fake away recipes on the website are perfect if you and your friends love ordering in. My personal guilty pleasure is a spice bag and there’s even a recipe to make your own healthy version which I love!

Make active choices

Being active is so important for a healthy lifestyle and a lot of the time as teenagers we love to sit down and watch Netflix for the entire day, though this is fun there are so many ways of exercising that are fun too! The simplest way of getting physical activity into your day is walking everywhere you can, instead of getting a lift or the bus. When you’re with friends encourage them to get outside to go on a walk or a cycle to a park nearby. Joining clubs with your friends like dancing, boxing or anything you’re interested in is a great way to get active and make friends while having a good time and learning something new.

Start living a healthier lifestyle now and say hello to a happier future!