Physical Struggles

McKenna Zacher, Sports Editor

Putting physical health on the backburner and dealing with a lack of sleep, having poor nutrition and not consistently exercising are experiences not uncommon to today’s teenagers.

Medical services manager at Comprehensive Life Resources Allison Kendziora, explains why it is common for teens to forget about their physical health.

“It is easy to get sucked into a game or texting or some sort of activity on your phone or the computer and… not remembering that there’s a world outside of that and joining it,” Kendziora said.

It is easy to get sucked into a game or texting or some sort of activity on your phone or the computer and… not remembering that there’s a world outside of that and joining it.”

— Allison Kendziora


School nurse Jennifer Schafer also shares the importance of getting up and moving.

“Even if it is walking 20 minutes a day [it] is just healthy inside and out for you,” Schafer said.

Getting enough sleep is another important aspect of physical health, says Kendziora.

“I know [for] my niece, that was one thing. She would stay up until the wee hours making sure she got all of her papers and everything done and then not getting enough sleep and then that just kicked her butt,” Kendziora said.

Ideally, teenagers should aim to get eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, Kendziora says. Matt White, AP Psychology and AP Government teacher at PHS, explains why getting enough sleep is crucial for students.

“Your brain encodes memory, myelinates pathways and basically organizes what you learned during the day while you are sleeping. The less you sleep, the less you can learn and the more difficult it is for you to cope with life stresses,” White said.

The lack of proper nutrition is also detrimental to students’ physical health.

“Making sure [that] you have a meal [is important], not just hitting the drive-thru of Starbucks and [thinking] ‘Well, I had a Frappuccino and a scone’ or whatever,” said Kendziora.

Proper hydration is also important.

“Making sure you are getting enough water, not just energy drinks or gatorade or coffee,” Kendziora says

Kendziora shares some easy ways students can incorporate healthy eating into their lives.

“Hard boil an egg, take that with you. Some cheeses and some turkey or hard salami, something that keeps feeding you the protein but then also something crunchy and fresh too is always a good idea,” Kendziora said.

Feeding your body proteins rather than sugar is important, says Kendziora.

“Making sure that you have got some protein to feed the brain because once the immediate sugar wears off then the brain is tired and needs that fuel,” Kendziora said.

Starting to acknowledge that your physical health is something that will have lasting effects is important, says Schafer.

“If you can learn… and you can understand your body, what you put in has results, good or bad. If you can understand that and you practice that’s going to help you in the long run,” Schafer said.

Kendziora also explained why physical health is important to make a habit of doing as a teenager.

“I think the saying is it takes seven days to break a habit or make a habit and if you start the habit of exercising and eating well and taking care of yourself, making sure you are getting enough sleep and maintaining personal relationships; starting those things early so that they become a part of who you are,” Kendziora said.