Tips for Healthy Teenagers

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Do you know what it takes to be a healthy teen? In part three of this series, Colin Lowther and Liz Waid look at the complex issues that teens have to face as they grow into adults.

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

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And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

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Here is tonight’s top story: something is happening to young people around the world. We have reports of young people acting strangely. Young people are changing very quickly. They sleep all the time. They eat large amounts of food. They smell very bad. They are only able to communicate with their friends and not with their parents. If you see a young person, use extreme care. They may become angry for no reason. What is causing these changes? Is there any hope for these young people?

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Voice 1 

You may wish you had heard a news story like this before you knew a teenager. You may be happy to learn that there are answers for some of these questions! Today’s Spotlight is on tips for living a healthy life during the teenage years.

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Young people go through a lot of changes. These changes are called puberty. Puberty is the process of a body changing from a child into an adult. It can begin as early as age nine in girls. It usually begins later in boys. In boys, puberty usually begins around age 12.

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The bodies of young people change a lot. Their bodies can grow many centimeters in just a few years. Young people grow taller and more muscular. Girls develop breasts and their bodies become able to have babies. Boys’ voices become lower and their bodies become ready to make a baby with a woman.

a teenage boy
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
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Young people also experience a lot of changes outside their bodies. Their relationships change. Young people depend less on their parents. They may become busy with school. Michelle Zehr is a writer for the website Livestrong.com. She wrote about the pressure on young people.

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“Your teenage years come with a lot of pressures. These include the pressures to fit in and do well in school. There is school, sports, special interests and even a part-time job. It can be difficult to find the time to lead a healthy life. But as a young person it is important to remember that the healthy things you do now will help you through the rest of your life.”

Voice 1 

Young people can do several things to have a healthy life. The first thing a young person can do is to get enough sleep. Experts say that young people need between nine and nine and a half hours of sleep every night. This is because young people are growing and changing so fast. And sleep can help with these changes.

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The second thing a young person can do to live a healthy life is to wash and care for skin and body. Charles Wibbelsman is a doctor for children and a writer. He wrote for the website WebMD.

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“Parents too often think that children will somehow just learn what they need to know about cleaning their body. But that is not true. Someone has to teach them.”

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Someone needs to teach children about washing their body, skin, and hair. This includes changing clothes regularly, cleaning teeth, and know when their feet smell bad. Young people will not find these things difficult. But they must remember this new responsibility.

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The third thing a young person can do to live a healthy life is to eat and drink good foods. During these years, young people eat a lot of food. But they do not always eat good, healthy food. Sometimes young people eat too much food that is fast and easy to eat, such as sweets, pizza, or boxed foods. They do not eat enough fresh food like fruits and vegetables.

Voice 1 

The fourth thing a young person can do to live a healthy life is to avoid risky behaviour. Parents give advice to young people. But young people like to test limits. They may smoke or try drugs and alcohol. They may chew betel-nut or tobacco. These things can become addictive. Once a person begins using them, it can be difficult to stop. They are harmful to the body.

young people smoking
Image by karosieben from Pixabay 
Voice 2 

Young people feel a lot of pressure to do these things. Young people want to be like their friends. If their friends drink alcohol, they will want to drink alcohol too. Young people may feel less worried about what other people think of them if they use drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can make a person feel good for a short time. But these things can hurt your body in ways that will only appear years later.

Voice 1 

The other common risky behaviour is sex. Young people start to be interested in sex. Sex is an important part of life. But it does have different risks when people are not married. Zehr writes,

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“If you have decided to have sex as a teenager, be smart about your health. To avoid pregnancy and getting a sexually transmitted disease, use protection in the form of condoms, birth control pills, or other methods. Remember that not all birth control methods protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Talk to your doctor about the birth control methods that are right for you. When you become sexually active, make a yearly trip to your doctor.”

students in a corridor
Image by Hong Manh from Pixabay 
Voice 2 

The final thing is for parents. Parents need to love and support their children through these changes. Parents experience changes too. They need to begin giving their children more responsibility and choice. Parents can tell their children that these changes are a normal part of life. The website Better Health channel is made by the government of the Australian state of Victoria. It advises parents:

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“You may need to accept that you will not have total control over your child’s choices and life direction. It may help to trust that you have done your best as a parent. But if your child makes new friendships that lead to acts that concern you, such as violence or drug taking, you may feel stress. In these times it may be useful to seek help from a family counsellor or other service which offers parenting help or classes. Let your child know you are there for them, no matter how old they are.”

Voice 1 

What do you think makes the teenage years better? What is the best advice you can give a teenager? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at contact@spotlightenglish.com. You can also find us on Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to check out the whole series on Tips for a Healthy Life.

Voice 2 

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.spotlightenglish.com. This program is called, ‘Tips for Healthy Teenagers’.

Voice 1 

Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

What is the best advice you can give a teenager? Were you or are you a healthy teen?

Join the discussion

18 comments
  • No, I was not healthy. I was suffering from iron deficiency in my body. I tried to treat it and so far I haven’t found the right treatment. My advice to teens Listens to their parents carefully. You will regret it in the future if you do not listen to their advice.

  • Thank you for this top, it is very useful for me.
    One other thing more, I am very happy to see your picture that you are using in this topic regarding to Ao dai of Vietnam. So nice!
    Thank you and wish good things to you all, Spotlight.
    From Vietnamese.

  • Study and doing new thing . If I can retun to tyneeger age I would be carfull about my relationship becouse it made my future

  • Be smart and quiet about your decisions .
    Take care about your health because your body is growing and everything you’re doing it now will effect on you the rest of your life.

    – no , I wasn’t

  • First of all, they have to obey their parents.
    Secondly, they have to worry their future and independence.
    Finally, they have to take care themselves and their health life.

  • To all teenagers, you must listen to your parents and younger than you. If they say that you should not behave like this or don’t do what is not good for you then do not do it because our parents know better than you. Remember, that our parents had numerous gone through they are the role model that you must imitate.

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