A guide to health & well-being for young people

Healthy lifestyles

Balance is the key

Being healthy is a big part of being happy. A healthy lifestyle simply means that the way you are day to day, makes you feel physically and mentally fit and well.

What is a healthy lifestyle?

"Balance is the key, it's about what you put into your body and also how you burn that energy off."

Food is burned in our bodies to create energy. If we don't use it, we get fat - simple!

If your lifestyle is not a healthy balance - for instance through not exercising, eating too much fatty and sugary foods, drinking alcohol, getting involved in drugs or by keeping worries and problems to yourself - you are more likely to become ill, have trouble concentrating at school or work or be unhappy or depressed. Being active can reduce your stress levels and can give you the time to think clearly.

Your lifestyle has a big effect on how you feel and what you get out of life, both now and in the future. So it's a good idea to find out more about how to live healthily.

"There are many other areas of our health we need to think about like sexual health, healthy teeth, drugs, alcohol and generally looking after ourselves."

What you can do

  • Be responsible for your own health, only you know how you feel.

  • Keep it fun! Healthy living is all about getting the balance right, enjoying yourself and being happy is a key part of a healthy lifestyle.

  • Get active! See if your friends would like to go rollerblading or play football rather than watching TV.

  • You don't need to join an expensive gym to get fit. Jog in the park or walk home, every bit helps!

  • If you feel anxious or depressed talk to your parent or carer, GP or teacher.

Five Ways to Well-being


with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours at home, school, work, or in your local community.

Be active...

Being active makes you feel good.

Take notice...

Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.

Keep learning...

Learning new things is fun and will make you feel more confident.


Do something nice for someone.

Sunburn: Stay safe in the sun

It’s the damage done to your skin when you’re young that could lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it's vital to get clued up now and protect yourself from the sun.

Love the sun, respect your skin.

Avoid the pain and shame of the lobster look by following our five simple steps.

1. Cover up your skin. Throw on a long sleeved shirt or top that ideally has a collar and a sarong or long shorts to banish those burning rays.

2. Slap on the suncream. Apply generous amounts of water resistant suncream of at least SPF30 and above, to clean, dry skin before going out in the sun. Make sure you re-apply regularly throughout the day.

3. Wear a hat or cap. Whether it's a stylish fedora, a trilby or a baseball cap, all can help to keep the heat off your head, face, neck and ears.

4. Style it up with shades. Slip on those sunglasses to make sure your eyes are protected from the strong rays of the sun.

5. Chill out in the shade. When the sun’s rays are strongest between 11am and 3pm, find a shady spot to avoid the burn.

Fake it!

Use an instant tanner instead.



Sunbeds aren't a safe alternative to tanning outdoors. Like the sun, sunbeds give out harmful ultraviolet light which damage the DNA in our skin cells and can cause skin cancer.

Sunbeds also cause premature skin ageing, which means that your skin becomes coarse, leathery and wrinkled at a younger age. So when the tan fades, the damage remains.

People with fair skin that tends to burn are at higher risk of problems from sunbed use than those with darker skin. Young people also have delicate skin and are more likely to damage it by using sunbeds.

"You should NEVER use a sunbed if you are under 18"