Safe and Sound: Good advice for Generation Z

Stay fit!
Everyone’s heard of the “freshman fifteen,” a reference to the tendency to gain weight during your first year in college. But the truth is that any major life event can affect your health and fitness level—moving to a new city, getting married, or starting a new job, for example. Taking good care of yourself means getting regular exercise, which could be as simple as going for a daily walk or making routine trips to the gym. Find a buddy to work out with you. It keeps you accountable and makes exercise a lot more fun!

Down in the dumps
It’s normal to worry about grades, deadlines, relationship problems or work issues, but if that “down in the dumps” feeling just won’t go away, it might be time to seek help. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more and more young people are being diagnosed with depression—but medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can have a positive effect. Be alert to these warning signs: changes in appetite, excessive sleeping, lack of interest in things that were once enjoyable, trouble concentrating, irritability, and thoughts of suicide. See your doctor if your symptoms persist.

Just don’t do it
Any activity that takes your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. This includes eating and drinking, talking on your phone, and (the absolute worst offense) … texting. Just don’t do it. No message is worth losing your license and certainly isn’t worth taking someone’s life. Set your smart phone to disable texts while you drive. It could literally save a life, including yours or that of a loved one.

Clear the air
If you’ve got a vaping habit, it’s time to quit. Physicians and health care professionals have long warned of the dangers of e-cigarettes, which have been marketed to teenagers with flavors like cotton candy, bubblegum and green apple. The “habit” became a crisis in mid September, when six deaths and 450 possible cases of lung illness were reported to be linked to vaping.  

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