We as parents are used to being warned to watch out for the warning signs that our teens might be abusing drugs and alcohol as well as the negative effects these substances might have on their mental health. A new study reported in Medical News Today “Lack of sleep and exercise, too much TV affects teens’ mental health”warns that there are behaviors that might subtly be having deleterious effects on the mental health of at risk teens.
“The investigators were surprised by the third group, which they labelled the “invisible-risk” group. This was made up of 29% of adolescents who had high media use, sedentary behavior and reduced sleep.”
Did you know that a study has shown that teens need 9 1/4 hours of sleep? Here is a link to a well done handout for written specifically for teens about getting enough sleep – Adolescent Sleep Deprivation. More information from the National Sleep Foundation about Teens and Sleep.
Want to get your teen moving? WebMD has put together “5 Ways to Help Unfit Teens Get Moving.”
And from Teens Health -
Rewards and Benefits
Experts recommend that teens get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Here are some of the reasons:
- Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind.Exercising causes the body to produce endorphins, chemicals that can help a person to feel more peaceful and happy. Exercise can help some people sleep better. It can also help some people who have mild depression and low self-esteem. Plus, exercise can give people a real sense of accomplishment and pride at having achieved a certain goal — like beating an old time in the 100-meter dash.
- Exercising can help you look better. People who exercise burn more calories and look more toned than those who don’t. In fact, exercise is one of the most important parts of keeping your body at a healthy weight.
- Exercise helps people lose weight and lower the risk of some diseases. Exercising to maintain a healthy weight decreases a person’s risk of developing certain diseases, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases, which used to be found mostly in adults, are becoming more common in teens.
- Exercise can help a person age well. This may not seem important now, but your body will thank you later. Women are especially prone to a condition called osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones) as they get older. Studies have found that weight-bearing exercise — like jumping, running, or brisk walking — can help girls (and guys!) keep their bones strong.
It’s tough to get highly stressed, over worked, teens to disconnect from social media, TV, iPads/iPods etc. but it’s vital.
If you’re a teen get up and get moving.
posted by – Susan, Health Reference