Taking care of your body

With all the changes happening to your body as you grow up, it is even more important that you take care of yourself.

It can be helpful to start to think about: eating well and exercise, personal hygiene and your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Eat well: Eating healthy during puberty is important and can help you feel good. Healthy food has been proven to improve mood and getting all the right nutrients will be great for your developing body. A well balanced diet should include plenty of fruit and veg, protein and making sure you drink water to stay hydrated, you can still have junk food, or sweet treats, just try to limit these and fizzy drinks. You can get great ideas about what to eat from and get involved in GULP.

Move your body: Exercise doesn’t have to mean competitive sports. There are lots of activities you can try to suit your likes and hobbies. You could try dance classes online, going for a bike ride, even taking you dog for a walk/run counts. Teens need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, with 30 minutes of this outside of school. This should include 3 sessions a week of activity that strengthens muscles and bones, so mix it up!

Being active helps with mental health.

Evidence shows that young people who are more active have more confidence, higher self-esteem, less anxiety and stress, and improved social skills that can help them better deal with the challenges they face in life. Having a positive attitude towards physical activity has also been associated with feeling happier so let’s get going – take a look at Join the movement and This Girl Can.

Smells and spots: Puberty can be a sweaty time, you will find that you now sweat much more than you used to. Sweating is totally normal and nothing to worry about but it can get smelly. This happens when the sweat mixes with bacteria on the skin. Its important to wash your body and to keep your clothes clean too. This will stop BO (body odour).

Keeping it clean

Shower daily, use soap and applying an anti-perspirant deodorant. Wear clean clothes, underwear and socks.

Spots, pimples, blackheads can be a pain during puberty. They are caused by sebum, an oil which is present on the skin. During puberty when your body is changing and hormones surge, the skin can overreact and create too much sebum, which then gets into your pores and…spots happen.

There are lots of over the counter products which you can purchase which can help manage spots. If you have a more severe flair up, you can also ask for some stronger spot treatment from your doctor.

Check your feelings: Taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing is equally as important as your physical health. During puberty hormones can make you feel all kinds of feeling and emotions. Sometimes all at the same time! You could be feeling giddy and excited, moody or emotional.

Some good tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing are to: make sure you take some time to relax and ensure you get enough sleep. It is also really important to be kind to yourself. Some young people might need some extra help to take care of their mental health; if you spot that you are feeling more sad than good it might be a good idea to talk to a trusted adult. This could be a family member or friend, or you could reach out to a specialist service for young people such as Young Minds, Childline or even your own GP/school nurse.

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