School is wrapping up and summer is about to begin. Likely, your teens are eager for a more relaxed schedule and little break from the full-time job of student. And while they deserve to take it easy and enjoy being a kid, it’s still important to maintain healthy habits and some semblance of a routine that keep them on a positive path.
If the kid(s) are home for the summer, you’ll notice an uptick in empty pantries and grocery bills. So what you stock in the kitchen will have a major influence on their daily choices. Keeping fresh fruits & veggies washed, prepped and handy will encourage natural selections. Whole grains, lean proteins, and nutritious fats should also be easy and accessible. Try keeping designated snack trays in the fridge for each child with a daily allotment to teach portion control.
And if all this preparing seems to be more work than during the school year, try spending time each evening or on the weekends teaching your teens the value of meal prepping. Let them become familiar with the kitchen and confident in making certain foods so processed pantry or frozen foods aren’t their first inclination. Don’t forget liquids! Consider keeping fewer sodas and juices in the fridge and more bottled water if it encourages them to stay hydrated.
There’s a time and place for televisions, phones and tablets, but teaching balance and encouraging movement is something we all must be intentional with. Maybe your teen is super active in sports throughout the school year or maybe they aren’t. But either way, encouraging physical activity throughout the summer should be a priority. Summers in Long Island are beautiful! Swimming, biking, walking/running are easy things they can do outside at home or around your neighborhood.
In addition to that, we highly recommend our Teen Fitness Program here at ENERGY. Let our certified Coaches lead them through weekly workouts, focusing on athletic performance or just getting them familiar with the gym environment and teaching proper form. Our 8-Week Program is perfect for building muscle, preventing injury, getting healthy, increasing confidence, enhancing athletic performance, and improving mental health.
In teenagers, good quality sleep is especially important for physical health as well as emotional and mental development. During the teen years, sleep benefits brain development and function, which enhances attention span and improves memory and cognitive abilities. Experts recommend keeping a regular sleep schedule—even on weekends and during the summer—to maintain the timing of the body’s internal clock. This can also help your teen fall asleep and wake up more easily.
Even if real life stands in the way of achieving a perfect sleep routine, making just a few small changes can improve this healthy habit. Teens need to prioritize quality sleep, even amidst the freedom of the summer schedule.
The best way to teach healthy habits is leading by example. But even parents aren’t perfect! So allow your teens to keep you accountable as well. Maybe create friendly competitions such as “Who can get in the most steps” or “Who can drink the most water in a day.” Or maybe as a family you brainstorm some summer changes that also provide the structure and support they need—a new routine everyone can get on board with.
At ENERGY, we’re here to support you and your whole family. Let us be your home away from home, give you with the tools you need to live a healthy and active life, and provide and elite team of Coaches to walk alongside you every step of the way!