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Leading a healthy lifestyle

Tips for exercising and staying active

Balanced diet… true or false?

Forbidden foodsThere are some foods you should never eat.

FALSE. The important thing is to have a varied, balanced diet. So you can eat healthy foods and others that are less healthy, from time to time and in moderation. It has also been proven that, the more restrictions you impose upon yourself, the more you’ll want to eat those foods, and the larger the quantities.

Eating fastIt doesn’t matter how fast you eat.

FALSE. If you eat too fast, you’re likely to ignore your satiety (fullness) signals. Your body takes about 20 minutes to send the message that it’s satisfied. Imagine everything you can eat in those 20 minutes if you keep wolfing food down – way too much! When your hunger is satisfied, you feel full but not stuffed; you have no more appetite and you’re full of energy. That’s when you should stop eating!

Needs in adolescenceYour needs for energy and your hunger are likely to increase in adolescence.

TRUE. In adolescence, your body is going through a lot of changes. Plus, you’re growing! So your body needs more energy: you’re hungry! Listen to those signals, which are perfectly normal. Eat good food and enough of it.

DietsSome diets really work to lose weight.

FALSE. Why? Because these diets are too strict. All the prohibitions and deprivation make you want to give up and eat even more to catch up. And that’s not because you have no willpower! Your body’s smart: when you follow a strict diet, it resists and opts to build up its reserves. In addition, everyone has different needs. That means that it’s impossible for one diet with set portions to suit everyone!

Emotional eatingSometimes we use food to escape our emotions.

TRUE. Food can provide some temporary comfort… but it’s not the key to happiness! It’ll never help you settle a conflict or manage a problem. On the other hand, it can lead to health problems. Instead of escaping into food, it’s better to identify the source of your emotions and adopt real problem-solving methods.

Sleeping well: 10 things you should know

When we have no energy, even the activities we love aren’t enjoyable. We can’t do anything! There’s no miracle solution: to feel good, we need to sleep well.

10 interesting things about sleep

Frequently asked questions

How can I be healthier?

Being healthy means adopting a healthy lifestyle: eating healthy food, exercising, sleeping well, etc. Daily balance is important too. That means spending time and energy on the various aspects of your life that are important to you: for example, your family, friends, education, sports, or leisure activities. Finally, you have to find room for all those small daily actions that contribute to good mental health, such as smiling or laughing with your friends, setting yourself small challenges that will stimulate you and make you feel good, treating yourself kindly, or taking the time every day to find positive things in your life and feel grateful for them.

How can I find the motivation to stay more active?

There are 1001 reasons to want to be active. What are yours? Write them down so you remember them and reread them if necessary. When you don’t feel motivated, you can also remember how you feel physically and mentally after exercising: better mood, feeling good in body and mind, less stressed, proud, etc. The choice of activity has a big impact on your motivation: do you prefer team sports or individual exercise? Popular pursuits or more fringe activities? Watch out: aesthetic sources of motivation (for example, having a body like a movie star’s) can quickly discourage you. Be realistic!

How often should I exercise each week?

It’s recommended that you do an hour of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity every day (walking, cycling, housework). Those 60 minutes don’t necessarily have to be consecutive: 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there! Three days a week, you should up the intensity: running, skating, volleyball, skipping rope, cross-country skiing, or another sport you like. Strength-building activities that build your muscles and bones should also be done three times a week: yoga, weights, or gymnastics, for example. If you don’t move at all now, that might seem like a lot to start with, so set yourself gradually increasing goals.

Why does it take me hours to fall asleep every night?

Sometimes it can be hard to fall asleep because we’re stressed out or we keep brooding about our everyday worries. Did you know that, ideally, your brain needs down time to decompress from the stress and events of your day before you fall asleep? If you don’t take a break before going to bed, you may need some time to get your head together once you’re lying down. If you think it could clear your mind, don’t hesitate to talk about things to someone or to write things down before going to bed. Turning off all screens an hour before going to bed and keeping your bedroom dark will also help you fall asleep.

What about smoking?

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