Five ways that Annandale students stay healthy


Junior Conor Lape stays fit by working out and playing sports.

It’s extremely important for teens to maintain their health and build practical routines that will sustain them throughout their teenage years.


This is because a majority of growth happens between the ages of 13-18 so it’s important for teens to always prioritize their health through every circumstance. 


Most teens’ unhealthy habits and lack of growth come from their sleep schedule. Most  teens miss out on the necessary 8-10 hours of nightly sleep due to homework and screen time. 


The common factor between those two reasons is lack of time management and an unsustainable routine. That is why it is crucial for teens to create a schedule that works for them that includes time for physical activity as well as going to bed at a reasonable time.


It’s also extremely vital for teens to build healthy diets that are maintainable and easy to stick to. This is because an unhealthy daily diet can lead to diabetes and heart/ liver issues which are most of the time avoidable diseases if not hereditary. 


It’s recommended that teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily to have a healthy lifestyle.


A great way to commit to staying getting the daily required physical activity is to establish a set time in your schedule where you can work out and complete your physical activity. 


The same procedure can be done with homework, socializing with friends/ family, and eating nutritious meals. 


Get 8 hours of sleep 


Sleep is the fuel that keeps teens energized throughout the day, which is why it’s important to build a healthy and sustainable sleep schedule. 


A study was done by Johns Hopkins university that shows the importance of teens getting the necessary amount of sleep, which is a minimum of nine hours in order to function at a healthy rate . 


The study stated that teens should be getting more hours of sleep than younger children due to their brain development. 


“With all the stress that comes from junior year, I still make it a priority to get the necessary amount of sleep,” junior Ruftana Beyene said. 


“I prioritize my mental and physical health over everything and sleep naturally falls into those categories,”  Beyene said. 


Not only is it important to consistently get the right amount of sleep for the benefits of your physical health, but your mental health is at stake too. 


Lack of sleep can cause irritability and stress when it becomes a constant habit. It can also lead to mood disorders, mental illness, and chronic insomnia. 


Participate in afterschool sports 

Participating in afterschool sports is an easy and attainable way to stay in shape and stay active with your peers. 


Whether it’s in or out of school sports, it’s a great way to make new friends and bond over the common interest of the sport being played.


 It’s also beneficial for your mental health since it’s a way to learn how to balance school and outside commitments.


“I play field hockey and basketball and I really enjoy being able to see my friends after school and play my favorite sports with them. Being in a team environment has taught me how to manage my time better and balance my academics and physical activities,” junior student- athlete Shahidah Kargbo said.


Being on a team teaches discipline and accountability at a young age which are lifelong skills that are timelessly necessary. 


Make exercise a priority 

If students aren’t on a school team, many of them still make health and fitness a priority in their daily routine. 


It’s become very common for student’s to go to gyms like xsport fitness or export to work out before school. 


Junior Ellie Davis is an example of one of the students that participate in this routine. Davis goes to sleep every night at around 9 pm and wakes up at 5 am to go workout at the gym. 


“Since I’m in my off season for tennis, I think it’s important for me to continue to stay in shape and build muscle for my upcoming season,” Davis said.


It was proven by the CDC that constantly working out and maintaining a healthy routine can improve cardiorespiratory fitness and decrease illness like depression and anxiety. 


The CDC also talks about consequences of inacity within adolescents and some of the extreme results can lead to diabetes, lung cancer, and low bone density. 


Eat a balanced diet 

Maintaining a balanced diet can affect teen’s overall health which includes their serotonin levels, blood pressure levels, and overall appearance.


Not only is it important to eat three balanced meals a day which includes protein, carbs, dairy, grains, and healthy fats. But it is also important to build healthy eating habits and make sure teens are eating at healthy times throughout the day. 


It is okay to sometimes eat unhealthy foods that contain artificial flavors but in moderation. Another part of healthy eating comes from water intake.


The benefits of drinking eight glasses of water a day and having a balanced diet include a decreased risk of obesity, having stabilized energy, and building a stable foundation that will last a lifetime. 


“When I’m eating healthy I notice an improvement in my mood throughout the day because the foods I eat sustain me until the next meal. When I eat junk I feel like I don’t feel as sustained and it has an impact on my overall mood,” junior Litzy Rivas said. 


Maintain a daily routine 


Maintaining a daily routine is the foundation of having a healthy lifestyle. If students are able to correctly manage their time, it can result in healthy eating habits and a stable sleep schedule. 


It’s important to create time for school and hobbies outside of school to have a balanced schedule and so that students don’t get overwhelmed with their school work.


“It’s really important for me to include ‘me time’ in my daily schedule because I have to prioritize myself at the end of the day and it helps keep me centered,” junior Trisha Raja said


 I also build in time for my family and friends because it’s important for me to spend time with my loved one’s,” Raja said 


Four at-home workouts to improve your health 



Some of the numerous health benefits that come from planks are an improved posture, faster metabolism, and it builds core strength. This is because when performing a plank, you’re exercising your abdominal muscles which directly affects the rest of your body. 


Jumping jacks 

The exercise of jumping jacks mainly focuses on the lower muscles. The main muscles that are being affected are the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hips. Some of the benefits that come from jumping jacks are an improvement in bone health, better overall cardiovascular health, and building muscle. 



Core strength is the main target when completing sit-ups. It is one of the fastest ways to burn belly fat and strengthen your core. Sit-ups improve flexibility, athletic performance, posture, and balance. 



Performing squats is a really efficient and easy way to burn calories in a short amount of time. This exercise improves your tendons along with the ligaments around your leg muscles.