Teens don't always have the easiest time taking care of themselves. After all, they have other concerns - like dating and schoolwork. But adopting a few good habits will help keep them healthy and happy not just now but as they grow into adulthood.
That's the message from Drs. Mehmet Oz, Michael Roizen and Ellen Rome, who have collaborated on a new book, "You: The Owner's Manual for Teens." Keep clicking as the docs share their top 25 health tips for teens...
Realize that you control what goes into your body
It's easy to blame others (hello, fast-food restaurants) for why we have an obesity problem. But the fact is that, even with lots of outside influences, you still have the choice about what you do or do not eat, drink, or smoke.
Realize that it's never too late to start adopting healthy habits
You get a do-over. Even if you've spent your childhood on a diet of soda and chips, it's not too late to make a change to get your body in a better place. It takes only two weeks to form a habit, so simple changes now will pay great dividends down the road. Start simple (try some raw veggies to get your crunch fix) and build up.
Walk 10,000 steps a day (about five miles)
They don't have to be all at once (but heck, you probably do a chunk of it at school every day). Make it a point to be active and get your body moving. Setting a tangible goal (like 10,000 steps a day) is a great way to start if you're not already active.
Have one buddy who shares your ideals about living a healthy lifestyle
Find a friend who you're comfortable talking with about healthy habits. Social networks (the live and in-person ones!) are so important to helping you develop self-esteem and a value system. Find positive people around you who can support you and share some of your goals.
Avoid known toxins
Avoid toxins such as tobacco, bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, and toxins found in dry cleaning and some cosmetic products. That means stay away from formaldehyde (found in some Brazilian Blowouts, "smoking water," and embalming fluid).
Avoid the major categories of unhealthy foods
Stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar, added syrup, non-100 percent whole grains. Start looking at food labels and trying to ID these unhealthy foods and ingredients.
Eat cruciferous vegetables
Enjoy some cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, and arugula three times a week. They're disease-fighters, they'll fill you up, and the crunch will help take the edge off about that math test tomorrow.
Take a multivitamin
Take a multivitamin every day and get your recommended daily amount of calcium through food or supplements as well as vitamin D and omega-3 fats.
Floss and brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day
Not only do they play a major role in your appearance (you are eating broccoli now from tip No. 7, right?), but they also help cut down the risk of diseases you're going to be worrying about later in life.
Have your waist size equal less than half your height (in inches)
Try not to obsess over your weight (in fact, it's better to have a healthy range of ideal weight, so you can account for natural body fluctuations). But the best number to determine whether you're a healthy size is using that formula. So if you're 66 inches tall, your waist should be under 33 inches.
Sleep eight-and-a-half to nine hours a night
Sleep eight-and-a-half to nine hours a night (in greater than 90-minute blocks). To create a better sleep environment, keep your room cool, don't do any work on your bed, and limit the use of electronic equipment (especially your phone) so close to bedtime.
Exercise nearly every day
Do some kind of exercise nearly every day, including some form of resistance exercise and cardiovascular exercise. Stay active, be active, sweat a little. Choose activities that you have fun with - keeping activity fun is one of the best ways to maintain activity over a lifetime. Dodgeball, anyone?
Do one small (or big) form of stress management every day
Maybe it's just sitting in peace and quiet for five minutes, maybe it's some yoga or light stretching, maybe it's listening to music by yourself. Find something that soothes you (other than ice cream) and help clear you mind to tackle the tasks that await you.
Have your vaccinations against major diseases up to date
You never know when sickness may hit, so it's best to be prepared and protected. After all, schools are notorious danger zones for flu outbreaks.
Have a passion - and do it as often as you can (safely)
Get excited about what you do - whether it's a sport, hobby or other activity. Do it often - just make sure you also do it safely.
Protect your ears from noise louder than a lawn mower
This also means keeping your personal device on less than 70 percent of max when you use earphones.
Commit to not texting while driving
Keep your phone and other devices out of your hands while driving. Make a commitment and stick to it.
Find a mentor
It may or may not be your parents, but the important thing is to find an older person who can help you reach your goals, give you advice, and who really cares about your success. A teacher, coach, or another relative can be a great options.
Practice smart internet safety
Know that what you write or post can be saved forever. Be smart about who you communicate with. It might be fun to post a picture from Spring Break on your Facebook picture. Maybe not so much if Aunt Judy, a principal, or future employer takes a gander?
Make sex a choice
Make sex a choice - not something that "just happens." And if you are considering becoming sexually active (whether you're a guy or a girl) remember to always carry a condom. And use a second method of contraception if you're having heterosexual sex.
Eliminate processed foods
Get rid of processed foods from your diet, and substitute 100 percent whole wheat flour for white flour where you can.
Eat five servings of fruits and veggies per day
New government guidelines confirm that we should all be filling half our plates with fruits and veggies a day. Include a variety of colors and kinds in your diet.
Eat fruit but skip the juice (unless you are trying to gain weight)
Eat fruit but not all juices are created equal. Fruit is totally healthy and contains plenty of vitamins that are good for you, but fruit juice often has a lot of unnecessary sugar. Try diluting juice with water to help reduce the calories.
Don't squeeze zits
When you do, you risk spreading the bacteria and causing more zits. Practice good skin hygiene, washing with a "basic" soap (as opposed acidic). Simple pimples will go away soon enough; if you have serious acne problems, consider seeing a dermatologist who may be able to bring in prescription-strength reinforcements.
Wear a helmet
When you're cycling, Rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, or rock climbing - wear a helmet. And wear a seat belt whenever you're in a car.