Sun Is Important

October 8th, 2020

Most people use the sun to their advantage, mostly just to get tan. Even though it is very nice to get a little pigment, there are many other  ways the sun helps people live a healthier life. Our sun is made up of gases (70.6% hydrogen and 27.4% helium) and is 5,505 degrees celsius. Not only does the sun provide us heat, it also gives us the resource that helps us obtain vitamin D, a good emotional well-being, a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy weight . Our world revolves around the sun, and thank goodness it does.

Vitamin D is responsible for our calcium and phosphate absorption in our body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy and strong. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it creates vitamin D from your cholesterol. The UV light from the sun is absorbed into the cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy that vitamin D needs to synthesize. Teens that don’t get enough vitamin D can end up getting rickets, which is a disease that softens and weakens the bones in your body. Just getting outside on a sunny day for 5 to 15 minutes can supply you with healthy amounts of vitamin D.

Not only does the sun provide vitamins and minerals for our immune system, it also helps nourish our brains. Sunlight aids a boost of a chemical in our brain called serotonin that provides people more energy and keeps people calm, positive, and focused. Researchers from BYU studied that days with plenty of sunshine result in better mental health and better moods. Many disorders like anxiety, depression, and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are linked with low levels of serotonin. Sun exposure mixed with other treatments can help people with these disorders. With another problem present in the life of teens, not getting enough sleep, soaking up enough vitamin D and serotonin into your system can result in better sleep patterns. When you’re ready to begin the day, exposing your body to the sun will not only help alert the brain, but will also increase your amount of sleep later on. When sunlight appears in the morning you will have an easier time waking up.

Everyone knows exercising does more than just keep people in shape. It helps people contract a positive mindset and helps improve self confidence. Now imagine all of those outcomes paired with exercising outside. There is evidence from the University of Essex that working out in nature can improve your self-esteem. Exercising outside gives you the benefit of receiving your necessary vitamin D and allows you to get a better workout. The heat from the sun gets rid of the bad toxins within your body and allows you to sweat more,burning off more calories.

If exposed to too much sun, it can cause major consequences to the inside and outside of your body. However, if you are able to get just enough sunlight-around 30 minutes a day-it will help your physical, mental, and emotional well being and allow you to live a better and healthier life.

Why Breakfast is Really the Most Important Meal of the Day

October 1st, 2020

Most kids used to rush out the door on their way to school without breakfast while their mom or dad always told them, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. I never listened to my mom when she said this; I thought it wasn’t a big deal and I could wait till lunch to eat. But boy was I wrong. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason. Now, while doing school and everything online, no one has a reason to be skipping out on the meal that prepares you for the rest of your day.

 The name “breakfast” stands for breaking the overnight fasting period. When you’re sleeping your body is still working to digest the food you had for dinner and is controlling the fluctuations of your blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. Our body’s energy source that takes care of all these processes comes from glucose. Glucose is absorbed by carbohydrates you eat. Eating your first meal in the morning allows you to refuel the energy you need for the next day. Not only does eating breakfast give you higher glucose levels, it also gives you essential nutrients to stay healthy. Breakfast foods play a big role in giving your body key nutrients like calcium, iron, B vitamins and minerals, and fiber. You can only get essential nutrients through food, making it a lot easier to consume the vitamins and nutrients you need through eating breakfast. 

Brain power plays a big role when it comes to eating breakfast. When you get sluggish and it becomes hard to focus on things, one reason could be you did not eat breakfast. Your brain also needs glucose to get it going, without it it’s harder for your brain to pay attention and concentrate. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast tend to do better in school and create better connections with teachers, leading to further positive academic outcomes. 

One reason people don’t eat breakfast is because they can’t tolerate it. People have trouble eating in the morning because it makes them nauseous. This is due to having your last meal the night before too late or not finding any type of breakfast foods appetizing. Eating your night meal earlier, finding some new recipes to  make that satisfy your breakfast appetite, and starting with a mid morning snack can help get you closer to being able to tolerate breakfast in the morning.

Getting Into a Self Care Routine

September 24th, 2020

Teenagers have always been prone to stress, but with everything going on, stress levels have skyrocketed.  In addition to the normal pressures of school, social demands, and parents, teenagers now also have to deal with being stuck at home during a global pandemic. Students are under immense pressure to exceed perfection with their academics, community service, athletics, and family. While there is no perfect solution to solving this anxiety and stress,  there are ways to improve students’ well being. Young adults need to prioritize themselves and their health before their studies and social lives by practicing self care routines. Teenagers should have the chance to carve out time for themselves, to meditate and practice mindfulness, and to exercise. 

Carving out time for yourself is the most basic way to take care of yourself and your body. Teens put themselves aside to focus on their futures and the standard they need to live up to. It is not easy to set aside time while everything else in life is going on, but if you start now it will become a habit to adapt to. Carving out time will give people a chance to destress and focus on themselves. Saving 15-20 minutes a day to sit outside and relax, do a face mask, or listening to your favorite music gives you an opportunity to zone out, focus on the present, and give yourself a pat on the back for how much you have accomplished. 

Meditation and mindfulness is not just an excuse to sleep. Mindful meditation has been proven to change the structure and function of people’s brains and promote relaxation that reduces stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness has a way of making you feel more conscious and connected throughout the day. Just taking 5-10 minutes to close your eyes and look up meditation videos on YouTube can help you to unwind. 

Exercise does not necessarily mean you have to run five miles or do a workout plan of squats and  push ups. Exercise can be as easy as walking your dog or going on a bike ride. This exercise is not only to keep you fit; it also allows you to get outdoors and provides a natural way to reduce depression and anxiety. Exercise is also a convenient way to get out with your friends and socialize while maintaining a safe distance. Personally, exercising allows me to clear my brain and just focus on my workout without stressing about what homework I have to do later that night or what studying I have to do for my quizzes the next morning. 

Putting off time for yourself each day is key to help teens live a stress free and healthy lifestyle throughout high school.