Winter can be a tough time to stay motivated about being healthy. It’s snowy (in some places), it’s dark (in this hemisphere), and the cold brings on cravings for comfort food (admittedly, I could probably go for baked mac and cheese in just about any weather). Okay, it can be hard to stay motivated about being healthy all year round, but I know that I feel better when I get some exercise and eat my vegetables.
Intermountain Healthcare’s award-winning LiVe Well program is designed to help teens get in the habit of health. It is geared primarily towards students in grades 6-9, ‘ because â€œthis is the time of life where we all started making our own decisions.” ‘ While the program was developed based on concerns about overweight kids and teens it takes a very positive approach to getting active, eating well and getting healthy. And it has a mobile app.
The app provides fun and easy ideas for activities and recipes, and a tracking-tool to chart your progress towards meeting daily and weekly goals for good food and getting active. If you need an idea for something to do, choose from outside, inside, night games, or surprise me, shake your mobile device and get a suggestion. The same goes for recipes, where you can choose from breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or beverage. While charting progress may only appeal to the highly motivated, the easy interactivity of shake-for-an-idea, will appeal to many. ‘ Not all of the suggested activities involve what you might think of as exercise, either. Building a snowman putting on a puppet show, or dancing are all ways to be active.
‘ LiVe Well’s 8 Healthy Habits
Always Eat Breakfast
Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
Limit Sweetened Drinks
Limit Screen Time
Increase Your Physical Activity
Eat Meals Together As A Family
Be positive About Food
Don’t Criticize About Weight
I think it can be hard for teens, especially the bookish sort, like I was (and still am), to think about being healthy. If they are not already involved in sports or some other activity, they might think, being healthy is for someone else or that it requires special skills or time and effort that can’t be spared. LiVe Well’s 8 Healthy Habits is a good list for these teens to have in their pockets, both metaphorically, and on their smartphones. The list, and the app, serve as reminders to incorporate small positive changes into day-to-day life that can over time add up to better health. They also remind teens to be kind to themselves, which may be the most important healthy habit of all.
The 8 Healthy Habits remind me a bit of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for teens, and adopting these habits support several of the assets, including: family support, family communication, high expectations, time at home, planning and decision making, personal power and self-esteem.
So ask your teens to give it a try. Download the app, and shake your device for a snack recipe and something different to do.
For more app recommendations, visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive.