Can You Give Me Tips on Nutrition and Exercise for Teens?

Published: October 10, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hello, I am a 16, going on 17 in the new year , year old male, about 5'9, and weigh about 140. I know this may seem like a good weight and height, but it's not. Over the last summer, I did little to no exercise. My school sport ended in May and starts up soon, but I am very unmotivated to do it. I'm not very good and enjoy workout out on my own, and in more fun ways like riding my bike. A New Years resolution for me, going into 2018 and turning 17 on Jan. 3 is to get a nutritionist and going to the gym every Saturday and riding my bike more, and even use the school weight room. I would like to focus more on cardio and stamina than weights, in the beginning. After I cut down my weight and lose some fat, then I want to work on my definition of muscles. This will also come naturally, but I haven't hit puberty yet... A late bloomer I guess. Any tips on what I can do now: Nutrition, exersizes, workouts, etc. Anything would help, and thanks!
Signed: Can You Give Me Tips on Nutrition and Exercise for Teens?

Dear Can You Give Me Tips on Nutrition and Exercise for Teens?,

Nutrition: is a great resource when it comes to nutrition. You might find some useful information in their tip sheet, Teen Guys: Choose the Foods You Need to Grow.

You might find also find the following articles helpful from Young Men’s Health:


Developing and maintaining healthy eating habits has many benefits. Some things to consider:

  • Be mindful of whether you are eating because you are hungry or not.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay away from foods that are high in sugar. This can include sweets, sodas and other drinks, and things like pasta sauces, BBQ sauce, ketchup and other dressings and condiments.
  • Stay away from processed foods as your body can’t break down many of the chemicals added to various foods.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Substitute white bread, white rice and plain pasta with whole grain bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.
  • Aim for breads and grains with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Incorporate healthy amounts of healthy fats into your diet, such as nuts and avocado.



WebMD has two articles, Aerobic Exercise for Teenagers and How Regular Exercise Benefits Teens, that you might find helpful.

You might also focus on doing things now that you find enjoyable such as hiking, riding your bike, or swimming. You could even volunteer to do some yard work at home so you can be up and moving. Try to do some type of physical activity every day. If you can’t do long stretches of exercise, break up activities throughout the day.

FX would also recommend speaking to your doctor, your gym teacher or health teacher at school, or a personal trainer to discuss exercise options that are best for you given your interests and fitness goals.  


Why healthy eating habits and exercise?

There are so many health benefits associated with exercising regularly and healthy eating – both for mental health and physical health. Healthy eating and regular exercise can:

  • Lower the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type-2 diabetes.
  • Increase our energy and motivation.
  • Improve mood.
  • Help maintain clearer skin.
  • The sense of accomplishment can also foster higher self-esteem.


All that said, TeenHealthFX thinks that it is great that you have set a goal for yourself to start exercising more and to develop healthier eating habits. We wish you the best of luck!


If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX