Your Health Starts Now

Developing healthy habits at an early age is important to living a long, fun, productive, and satisfying life. Yet as a teen balancing school, extracurricular activities, and maybe even a job, it can be hard to develop and maintain these habits. EmblemHealth wants to help you develop these healthy habits that will benefit you throughout your life.

When you’re young, you may not think much about going to the doctor unless you’re sick or hurt. But having a primary doctor and making regular visits is important to your health and well-being. Your doctor can provide “preventive services” that can detect diseases and help prevent illness. 

Many conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, that typically happen later in life, get their start at younger ages. Developing healthy habits, like making regular doctor visits, can help decrease your risk of developing one of these conditions.

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The keys to reaching or staying at a healthy weight are regular exercise and good eating habits. You might think that requires a lot of effort and planning, but it doesn’t! The best way to work them into your life is by making small changes that slowly become part of our routine. It’s never too late to make changes and those changes don’t have to be big.

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Becoming sexually active is a big decision to make. If you decide to wait, it’s ok. It’s important to be completely sure about it. If you decide to be sexually active or are currently sexually active, keep yourself and your partner healthy by:

  • Not having multiple sexual partners at the same time.
  • Using condoms during sex along with other forms of contraception.
  • Getting vaccinations (also called immunization) to prevent some infections.

Whether you choose to have sex or not, it’s good to know about safe sex and how sex affects your health. Talk to your doctor if you are thinking of becoming sexually active. It can help prevent pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs). 

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You’re never too old to get shots. Many teens don’t know they should be immunized against diseases because they think shots are only for children. Getting immunized is a lifelong and life-protecting job. During your next doctor’s visit, ask whether you’ve had all the shots you need.

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Bullying, in-person or online, affects millions of teens and their families each day. It can lead to low self-esteem, stress, depression, anxiety, and potentially suicide. Whether you are the person being bullied or the bully, talking to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher, or coach is one of the many ways you can help fight the problem. Adults can help you spot bullying, provide support and assistance, and teach you how to speak out against it. Pay attention to moods and feelings of extreme stress and sadness since they could be warning signs of a mental health problem. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Mental health problems are real and treatable. Speak to someone you can be open with about what’s on your mind, and always remember that your doctor can also help.

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When misused or consumed too much, alcohol and drugs can have major health and safety risks. They can lead to risky or dangerous behavior, such as drinking and driving or unprotected sex, and can cause death and serious injury. Kids your age often begin drinking to look “cool” or fit in with their peers without knowing how alcohol and drug consumption will affect them. If you or someone you know are being pressured to consume alcohol or drugs, talk to a trusted adult. If you or someone you know are struggling with alcohol and drug use, you can get help. Remember – NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE..

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Smoking is bad for your health. Some of the side effects of smoking are: bad skin, bad breath and yellow teeth. Chewing tobacco is not an acceptable substitute, either. Over time, smoking and other tobacco use can lead to cancer, emphysema and heart disease. It’s important that you learn about the dangers of tobacco. If you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco and want to quit, useful information is available to help you.

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