Dr. Oz's 25 Things Every Teen Should Do for a Happy, Healthy Life

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Raising a teenager can be a lot of hard work (Phil had four teenaged boys when I married him!). Luckily, Dr. Oz has written an "owners manual" for parents of teens – YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life. Below is a list of 25 things every teen should do. Share this with the teenager in your life! And don't miss your chance to ask Dr. Oz anything you'd like to know here – tune in to our LIVE chat on Monday, June 13th, 2011 to see your question answered!

Dr. Oz's 25 Things Every Teen Should Do for a Happy, Healthy Life

1. Realize that you control what goes into your body.
2. Realize that it's never too late to start adopting healthy habits. You get a do‑over.
3. Walk ten thousand steps a day (about five miles).
4. Have one buddy who shares your ideals about living a healthy lifestyle and who you're comfortable talking with about healthy habits.
5. Avoid known 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).
6. Regularly avoid the major categories of unhealthy foods: saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar, added syrup, non–100 percent whole grains.
7. Eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, and arugula three times a week.
8. 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.
9. Floss and brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day.
10. Have your waist size equal less than half your height (in inches).
11. Sleep eight and a half to nine hours a night (in greater than ninety-minute blocks).
12. Do some kind of exercise nearly every day, including some form of resistance exercise and cardiovascular exercise.
13. Do one small (or big) form of stress management every day. Have your vaccinations against major diseases up to date.
14. Commit to not texting and driving.
15. Have a passion. And do it as often as you can! Safely.
16. Protect your ears from noise louder than a lawn mower (including keeping your personal device on less than 70 percent of max when using earphones).
17. Keep your phone and other devices out of your hands (and away from your eyes) while driving (or walking, if you're in urban areas).
18. Find a mentor.
19. Practice smart internet safety, knowing that what you write or post can be saved forever, and be smart about who you communicate with.
20. 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.
21. Eliminate processed foods from your diet and substitute 100 percent whole wheat flour for white flour where you can.
22. Eat five servings of fruits and veggies per day.
23. Eat fruit but skip the juice unless you are specifically trying to gain weight.
24. Don't squeeze zits.
25. Wear a helmet when cycling, Rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, or rock climbing and wear a seat belt whenever you're in a car.

About the Authors

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., author of YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life (Copyright © 2011 by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Oz Works, LLC), is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and cofounder and originator of the popular RealAge.com website. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and health expert of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., author of YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life (Copyright © 2006, 2009, 2011 by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Oz Works LLC, f/s/o Mehmet C. Oz, MD), is also a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show. He is professor and vice chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and the director of the Heart Institute.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.