Good health choices can be challenging. Just take a look at these true stories by 5 different young people.

Daniel Sedin Healthy Hero

What's your Healthy Living Reality?

As you learn more about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, the long term benefits to your health should become more obvious. Preventing cancer and other diseases starts with the way you live your life every day. This knowledge may already be challenging your daily routines. Perhaps you recognize the need for changes in your life, but you are not sure how or where to begin. This is a common situation.

The daily challenges of five young people have been described below. Each one of the scenarios is based on a real person's struggle; only the names have been changed.

Emma's Reality: Eating Nutritiously

"I have been thinking about improving my eating habits for a while now. I'm always running late in the morning and I don't feel like eating, so I just skip breakfast. Our school cafeteria doesn't have anything good so I just grab a burger and fries for lunch. After school I snack on stuff in our pantry like cookies or chips. My family usually eats on the run, so dinner is often Kraft dinner or something like that."

"My stomach is often upset, and I have no energy left by after school, so I know that I have to change the way I am eating. I think a healthier diet would help me feel better, and I want to have better health for the next few years when I am in college, but I really don't know what to do, or where to begin."

Try out the daily do-ables to improve your eating habits

Javier's Reality: How to be More Active

"I have never been an athletic person. My favorite subjects in school are science and computer technology. I spend most of my free time on my computer or playing video games. By the time I get home from school, I am tired and just want to sleep for a while. I have been realizing lately that I would probably have more energy if I was more active. I am also realizing that daily physical activity has all kinds of health benefits so I should start doing something. Sports just don't interest me, so I don't play on any teams. Going for a run or hopping on a bike just isn't me either. I know that I need to add more physical activity into my daily routine, but I can't seem to find anything that suits me."

Give the daily do-ables a try to up your physical activity

Sunee's Reality: Achieving a Healthy Body Weight

"I have been trying for years now to get down to a healthy body weight, but it just seems impossible for me. I eat a healthy breakfast, and I have been having a salad for lunch lately instead of a burger or a sandwich. But by after school, my willpower starts to fade and I crave something sweet. A chocolate bar is all I can think about."

"Dinner at our house is usually something like steak and potatoes or chicken and pasta, so my dinner is healthy but not necessarily low fat or low in calories. Evenings and weekends are times of temptation for me. Pizza is a regular for us on Fridays, popcorn just goes with a Saturday movie, and ice cream is a common Sunday treat. When I calculate my Body Mass Index, I know I am not in the healthy range and that bothers me a lot, but not enough to cause me take some serious action."

Complete the daily do-ables to get your BMI into a healthy range

Tom's Reality: Avoiding Tobacco Use

"Smoking has been in my family for generations. My grandpa has smoked since he was a teenager and at the age of 73, he is still in good health. My Dad used to smoke but he quit a few months ago. It was no surprise to my parents when I started smoking. Most of my friends smoke too. But my Dad had a bad case of bronchitis last year. He coughed until he was sick and it took months for him to get healthy again. His doctor warned him about his smoking and gave him some pamphlets with current information on lung cancer. Those pamphlets have really been causing me to think about quitting. I cut back to only a few cigarettes a day. But it's hard when I am around my friends. They still offer me a cigarette even though they know I am trying to quit."

Try the daily do-ables to create a plan for you to quit

Sara's Reality: How to Stay Sun Safe

"Summer is my favorite season. I can hardly wait to get to the backyard or to the beach and work on my tan. I think I look a lot better with some colour on my skin. Since I won't have a chance to tan before my graduation week in June, I was thinking about buying a month of tanning sessions at the local tanning bed."

"That is. . . until I saw a film at school on the rising incidences of skin cancer. They showed pictures of melanoma that made my stomach turn. That is not what I want to see on my skin in the future. I think I should probably let go of my summer tan addiction if I want healthy skin in the future. But what will I do when summer comes? Lying on the beach just won't be the same. And what about grad? Am I going to be the only pasty white girl in the crowd?"

Use the daily do-ables so that you can enjoy the sun safely


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