Mens Health Week 2021 | Male Teenagers up to 20 years
Choose carbs wisely
Carbohydrates provide energy, but they are not all created equally. Simple carbohydrates such as pizza and pies may be tempting but they offer minimal nutritional value. Instead complex carbohydrates should be the focus thanks to the high fibre content and slow-releasing energy. Complex carbs include brown rice, oats and vegetables.
Pack in protein
Protein plays an essential role in development and repair of tissues and muscles. Generally, in order to support growth spurts a typical male teen needs 52 grams of protein per day, with meat, dairy and fish all rich sources.
Following a bone-healthy lifestyle from an early age may prevent any problems happening later in life. Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K are all essential to healthy bone growth. Dairy, whole grains and green leafy veg provide good nutrition alongside spending time outside.
In order to allow for growth of both body and brain, 8 to 10 hours sleep per night is recommended. Poor impulse control, reduced emotional control and compromised cognitive ability are all caused by failure to attain this requirement. Promoting good sleep hygiene can be done through regular exercise, relaxation techniques and reducing caffeine.
Don’t over exercise
Although exercise is important for the development of mind and body, and promotes better sleep, over-exercising can be a big no no. For many years, the focus of body image disorders has been on women, however, increasingly more young men are striving to achieve the unattainable goal of male perfection. Over working, exercising when injured or panicking if they can’t make it to the gym should not be encouraged.
Acknowledge emotional struggles
Men and teens alike have rarely advocated for verbal communication, but with an increase in mental health disorders, now is the best time to talk. If you feel your child doesn’t want to open up to you, then sign post them to websites or helplines which can help.
Address reckless behaviour
Independancy is a key part of being a teenager, and along with peer-pressure can result in them taking part in binge drinking, substance abuse, unprotected sex or cigarette smoking. To prevent or minimise these risks, set firm boundaries and agree on consequences for these actions.