In addition to exercise and limiting sedentary behaviours, making just a few other changes in a teenager's life can help keep teens healthy.
Teens need to make good food choices so their bodies receive the appropriate nutrition required for puberty's growth spurts.
During these years, teenagers also form lifelong eating habits, so their adolescence is the time to reinforce healthy food and eating choices. This can be as simple as choosing and cooking tasty and nutritious family food.
Teenagers should eat three healthy meals a day, including at least four servings of fruits, five servings of vegetables, and four servings of dairy products. Teens should also stop drinking or drink fewer regular soft drinks and eat less junk food and fast food.
Teens should also make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after any exercise (water is best, but flavoured sports drinks can be used if they do not contain a lot of sugar). This will help replace what teenagers lose when they sweat.
Getting Enough Sleep
Teenagers need about 9-10 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Teens need not only enough sleep, but also good-quality sleep.
Teenagers' sleep patterns will also change during their adolescence, but good sleep habits can help them get the sleep they need at night. For example, teenagers should try to keep active during the day, go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day, and wind down before bed. Keeping electronic equipment such as phones and laptops out of a teen's bedroom can improve sleep too.
Hygiene and Dental Care
A teenager's changing body means that their hygiene habits might also need to change.
Dental care is just as important as ever, and teenagers will probably need to pay extra attention to washing feet, armpits and genitals. Teens should wear deodorant too. Adolescent girls might need some help with sanitary pads and tampons and teenage boys might need help with shaving.
When teenagers are on top of their basic hygiene, it can help them fit in with their peers and boost their confidence.
Sexual Health and Wellbeing
Sexuality isn't just about sex. It's also about how teens feel about their developing body, how they understand feelings of intimacy and attraction, and how they develop respectful relationships.
Open communication between parents and teenagers has a positive influence on adolescent sexual behaviour. It's good to get this communication happening early, to help teenagers understand that sex and sexuality are a normal, healthy part of life. Teenagers should be educated on 'safe sex' practices.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health is an essential part of a teenager's wellbeing and central to their development. Good physical health is related to good mental health.
Alcohol, Cigarettes and Other Drugs
Steering clear of alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs can help teens avoid serious risk factors for physical and mental health problems.
Using alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs isn't always the same thing as have a drug and alcohol problem - in fact, for many young people, trying drugs is a normal part of teenagehood. But there's no safe level of alcohol, cigarette and drug use for children under 25. Their brains and bodies are still developing and can be easily damaged.
Body Image, Weight and Eating
Body image is how teens think and feel about their bodies. A healthy body image in childhood and adolescence can lay the foundations for good physical and mental health later in life.
There are many risk factors for poor body image, including overweight and obesity. Poor body image is a risk factor for risky weight loss strategies, eating disorders and mental health disorders.
Anxiety and Depression
Some anxiety and emotional ups and down are a normal part of adolescence.
But if a teenagers seems down, flat or sad for two or more weeks, or if moods or anxiety are stopping a teen from getting on with their usual daily activities, they could be showing signs of more serious mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Teenagers and/or parents could call Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) - a free, confidential, anonymous telephone counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years. Kids Helpline also offers web counselling and email counselling services.