Saying No

30 11 2009

We’ve covered a lot of material in this blog but I don’t want the final message to get over-crowded. The most important thing for you to remember is that you need to have the courage and ability to say no to the things that you are uncomfortable doing or to things that you know aren’t good for you. I’ve covered some basic ways for you to say no in the “Ways to say, ‘No!'” tab but there are plenty of ways that you can get your point across. Don’t let your peers make these decisions for you. Like we’ve said before, you are the boss of yourself and your body and you have the right to make these decisions for you. I have confidence that you can take control and I promise you that you are not alone in your decisions. For more ways that you can learn the technique of saying no, see this site or this site. Good luck…you can do it!!!





Making a Change in Your Life

25 11 2009

When we get to be teenagers we start to make choices for ourselves. We are no longer just doing and following everything our parents are telling us to do. This makes things tricky because we have to be responsible for our own actions. Sometimes we make mistakes and start to participate in things that we shouldn’t, but it’s not to late to change. Just like you had the choice to start, you also have the choice to quit. It can be really difficult, but it is always beneficial. I am in love with the Kids Health site, it is awesome and has so many health topic resources for kids and teens like you. Visit the sight to read more about changing things in your life. They also have a great goal making tool that guides you through the steps you need to take to change something. Visit this link to do it yourself to change in any aspect of your life. Finally, the site lists five facts about goal setting that will help you through it. Check it out for some extra help, I promise you that change is hard but it is worth it for your health!





It’s All About You

24 11 2009

Ok so we’ve covered a lot of things that you should abstain from in this blog and there are plenty more out there. Now I want to talk to you all about why it’s important. It’s important for you to make your own healthy and smart choices about what you do to your body. It’s your choice, no one elses. A lot of your peers or friends probably give you a lot of grief because you say no to these things, but they don’t have the right to choose for you. They need to respect you and your decisions. It is hard to resist peer pressure and abstain from the things that you know are bad for you, but it’s important for you to do this. By making your own decision and respecting yourself, you will be more healthy throughout your whole life. Try this excellent site to learn more about dealing with peer pressure. This site is also an excellent source on peer pressure.





Sexual Activity

16 11 2009

Your peers around you are most likely being very open about their sexual activity at this point in your life. It might seem like everyone is having sex and you are probably feeling a lot of pressure right now, but deciding if you are ready to become sexually active is a very personal and important decision that you have to make for yourself. Knowing if you are ready to have sex is something only you will know and it’s important for you to abstain and say no to the pressure until you know that you are ready. No one should make this decision for you. When you decide to have sex it needs to be the right time and the right person.

At this time in your life there are a lot of new hormones in your body and you probably are curious about sex. This is not unusual but they may make you feel like you are ready to have sex even if you’re not. Make sure you totally understand the consequences before you jump into anything. When the time comes for you to decide if you want to become sexually active, make sure that you consider some very important factors. These factors vary a lot, such as the chances of pregnancy occurring or the chances of getting STD’s. You also need to consider the emotional consequences of having sex.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are infectious diseases which are spread from person to person during intimate contact. STD’s are spread when a person has sex with someone you already has an STD. This usually happens to someone who has a lot of sex partners or who is unprotected during sex. For more information on STD’s look here.

Unwanted pregnancy is another consequence of having sex. It’s important to be safe during sex and use proper birth control to prevent this from happening. Birth control can help reduce the chances of pregnancy occurring and even help reduce the chances of getting an STD. It’s important for you to get your information right though. You want to get the facts straight before you have sex so that you and your partner can be safe. For more information about safe sex, look here or here. You can also talk to a doctor or an adult you trust. It’s extremely important to be safe before sex because the consequences can change you life or health forever. If you feel that you are ready, then make sure that you are safe.

Now you need to remember that they only 100% way to avoid pregnancy and STD’s is abstinence. Although birth control can help prevent pregnancy and STD’s, they can fail sometimes. Many teens are choosing not to have sex because they are not ready to face the consequences. A couple can still have a relationship if they are not having sex. Your peers and the media around you may make you feel like you are the only one not having sex, but this is not true. The truth is, most teens are deciding to abstain from sex all together.

If your boyfriend/girlfriend is pressuring you to have sex before you feel like you’re ready, don’t give in. Having sex is a decision that you need to make. If you are having a hard time saying no, check out the “Ways to say, ‘No!'” tab. If the person you are dating thinks that having sex is the only way that you can show that you love them, they are wrong. If someone really loved you, they would respect your choice to wait till you are ready. Don’t let them decide when you are ready.





Eating Disorders

11 11 2009

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The subject of eating disorders is one that makes me feel really sad. Just like boys may feel the need to have more muscle, girls often feel the need to be really thin. A lot of this pressure comes from the media around us, but what we don’t realize is that a lot of these images of these perfect looking people are not even real! We need to learn how to deal with these false images and not give into pressure. By giving in and doing harmful things to your body to try to look perfect, it harms our body and our health. This means that we need to abstain from giving into the pressure.

Sometimes when someone tries to improve their image, and they get carried away, they develope what they call an eating disorder. Now an eating disorder is not just trying to lose weight by dieting or trying to get in more excercise, they are extremes in eating behavior. The most common eating disorders are anorexia or bulimia.

People with anorexia have a fear of weight gain and they do not see their bodies the way that other people do. Many people with anorexia restrict the amount of food they eat by dieting, fasting, or they may even exercise a lot. They don’t eat much and the little food they do eat becomes an obsession.

Other people have the eating disorder called bulimia. They do what they call binge eating and purging. This is when they eat a lot of food and then try to get rid of it by throwing it up, using laxatives, or once again exercising a lot. People with bulimia eat a large amount of food at one time, usually in secret. The person sometimes can’t stop eating and only stops when they are too full. This is when the person usually tries to get rid of the food somehow.

Anorexia and bulimia are a lot alike but people with anorexia are usually very thin but those with bulimia may be a normal weight or even overweight.

Some of your peers may try to make an eating disorder sound appealing. They may try to make you believe that you can get your ideal body just by doing this, but its harmful to your health and it’s important for you to say no to these practices.

Some of the effects of Anorexia:

  • a drop in blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate
  • hair loss and fingernail breakage
  • loss of periods
  • lanugo hair — a soft hair that can grow all over the skin
  • light-headedness and inability to concentrate
  • anemia
  • swollen joints
  • brittle bones

Some effects from bulimia:

  • constant stomach pain
  • damage to a person’s stomach and kidneys
  • tooth decay (from exposure to stomach acids)
  • “chipmunk cheeks,” when the salivary glands permanently expand from throwing up so often
  • loss of periods
  • loss of the mineral potassium (this can contribute to heart problems and even death)

Everyone sometime or another doesn’t feel good about their body. Its something that we all deal with but its important to deal with these feelings in healthy ways. If you want to change your weight you can participate in a healthy diet. For some tips visit here. If you want more information about eating disorders and why it’s important to abstain, try this site. If you want more information on eating disorders visit this site for more great information.





Steroids

9 11 2009

steroid_guysMany teens in high school are into taking steroids. Some do this to improve their abilities in sports or just to gain muscle on their bodies. You might be getting pressured to do steroids if some of your friends or teammates are doing them, but these too are dangerous, can be illegal, and important for you to abstain from.

Steroids are similar to certain hormones in your body that promote growth or development. Anabolic steroids are similar to male androgens like testosterone which produces a lot of male characteristics including how aggressive someone can be. Many athletes take these to improve their athletic abilities.

Anabolic steroids make muscle tissue to grow with excercise and weight lifting by mimicking the effect of natural testosterone in the body. Anabolic steroids can remain in the body a couple of days to a year. Steroids have become popular because they can improve endurance, strength, and muscle mass. However, research has not proved that steroids improve skill, agility, or athletic performance.

Another steroid group are called steroidal supplements. These are illegal or they require a prescription to get them. They are basically a weaker from of the androgens and can cause similar results. Many companies tell false claims about these supplements and they know very little about what the long-term effects of these could be. That is one reason why these are illegal.

Some of the effects of steroids are listed at the Teen Health website like:

  • premature balding or hair loss
  • dizziness
  • mood swings, including anger, aggression, and depression
  • believing things that aren’t true (delusion)
  • extreme feelings of mistrust or fear (paranoia)
  • problems sleeping
  • nausea and vomiting
  • trembling
  • high blood pressure that can damage the heart or blood vessels over time
  • aching joints
  • greater chance of injuring muscles and tendons
  • jaundice or yellowing of the skin; liver damage
  • urinary problems
  • shortening of final adult height
  • increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer
  • And here are some risks for girls:

  • increased facial hair growth
  • development of masculine traits, such as deepening of the voice, and loss of feminine body characteristics, such as shrinking of the breasts
  • enlargement of the clitoris
  • menstrual cycle changes
  • And for boys:

  • testicular shrinkage
  • pain when urinating
  • breast development
  • impotence (inability to get an erection)
  • sterility (inability to have children)
  • Steroid use is not something that should be taken likely. It is important for you to abstain from these drugs just as much as any other harmful substances. They are bad for your health and it’s important to say no. To find out more risks of steroid use, check out the link above or look at the NIDA for teens site.

     





    Drugs

    5 11 2009

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    Now a lot of your peers are probably doing drugs and also trying to get you to do them too. The term “drugs” is kind of confusing sometimes because it covers so many different things. A lot of medicine used in everyday life and help people are also called drugs, but these aren’t the drugs that we are talking about in this post. I thought Urban Dictionary gave a good definition of drugs in a way that we can better understand it:

    “Drugs are chemicals that alter, block, or mimic chemical reactions in the brain. This causes an alteration of the body’s normal processes, causing physical (Faster heartbeat, deeper respiration etc.), or mental (Elevated mood, new thought processes etc.) changes.

    Drugs are used for a myriad of purposes, from anaesthesia, to psychotherapy, to just being able to wake up in the morning (Caffeine).

    Drugs that are used for personal pleasure (often illegally) are called Recreational Drugs. Traditional RD’s include marijuana, alcohol (Yes, it is a drug), MDMA (ecstasy), mushrooms, LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, crack/cocaine.”

    I thought that this definition gave us a little bit of a spectrum for what the term “drugs” covers today. Many of the dangerous drugs today you usually inhale, swallow, or inject into your body and they go through your bloodstream to the different parts of your body like your brain. Once they reach the brain they work to increase or dull your senses, change your sense of alertness, and sometimes decrease pain.  

    Drugs may be helpful but when people take them when they don’t need them and they are not responsible, they can be harmful. The effects of drugs depend on the kind of drug taken, how amount, how often it is taken, how fast it goes to the brain, and what other drugs, food, or substances are taken at the same time. Effects also change with each individual person.

    Although doing drugs can feel good and a lot of people you know are doing them, they can do a lot of harm to your body and brain. Many drugs make it difficult for you to make healthy choices and decisions for yourself. When your brain has those substances running through it, you are more likely to get involved in dangerous activities or situations that you usually would not put yourself in. This is why it is important to never get started into drugs and just say no when someone offers them. They can be very addictive and hard to stop once you get started so its easier to just abstain from the start. To learn more about specific drugs and what they do to your body, visit this sight. Another great sight to learn more about drug abuse is “It’s My Life,” so check it out. If you are having trouble saying no to drugs and your peers keep pressuring you, try looking at the “Ways to say, No!” tab.