Physical Health in Developing Adolescents
Adolescence is a good time for youth to take more responsibility for their physical health. They can learn to make healthy food choices, be active, and engage in their own healthcare. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd Edition) recommends that adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Support from family and friends can help increase physical activity among adolescents. Additionally, learning healthy eating habits, like drinking enough water and eating enough fruits and vegetables, is important as adolescents make more choices about their nutrition.
A healthcare transition is when adolescents move from pediatric care to adult primary care. For medical check-ups, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an immunization schedule that can help adolescents and parents determine which vaccines may be needed. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that youth enter adult care between the ages of 18 and 21 and that the transition is coordinated with youth, family, and providers. Adolescents who have chronic conditions also can begin to learn how to manage their own health. To support this, parents and caretakers can provide education, skills training, and problem-solving coaching. The following sections provide a detailed look at adolescent physical health and related resources.
Content last reviewed on February 24, 2017