As a teenager, you dream of making your mark in the world. You think of success for teens and you wonder about your future: Do you have what it takes? Will you be successful in your career? Will you reach your dreams? Will you have strong friendships? Will you be happy? Well, believe it or not, your future success for teens starts with oxygen.
We have all read about the importance of health. It is all true. Life Tip: As a teen, you have a huge advantage over older generations! You can start healthy habits today, this minute, and keep them for a lifetime. Being healthy lets you devote the time, energy and resources you need to fulfill your dreams, not worry about your health. Exercise helps you feel better about yourself, build self-esteem and gain confidence. One aspect of being healthy is to have a healthy brain. So, let’s start with a story about oxygen for your brain and why it matters.
A Story About Oxygen
The year is 1972. There is a World Chess Championship up for grabs, and Bobby Fischer is about to challenge Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland for the title Russia has held since 1948. It is being billed as the Match of the Century. Talk about pressure. Fischer’s coaches want him to memorize about 14,000 chess moves that Spassky has used – 14,000! Seriously? Instead, Fischer starts studying Spassky and notices he keeps making obvious mistakes after he has been sitting, playing chess for four or five hours. It doesn’t make sense. Why is this happening?
After extensive research, Fischer discovered that sitting and playing chess for hours resulted in a lack of oxygen to the brain, which is our decision-making center. So instead of memorizing 14,000 chess moves, Fischer oxygenated his brain. He realized that before he could be fit mentally and emotionally, he needed to be fit physically. He concentrated on playing tennis, running and swimming, following a serious aerobic exercise regime. While he may not have known the mechanics, by exercising he was increasing blood flow to his brain, blood that was filled with oxygen, an essential ingredient for brain health. According to Dr. Andrew Scholey, Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, studies have shown that if your brain does not have enough oxygen you can experience sleep apnea, poor concentration, forgetfulness, mood swings, restlessness, depressive thoughts or low drive. Not Fischer. Fischer already had the chess skills he needed, but he gave himself the physical edge by oxygenating his brain. He won the World Chess Champion title in 1972.
Your Success Is Your Choice
For you to achieve all you want to in life, you must be healthy. However, being healthy does not just happen. You must choose to do activities that support your own health and wellbeing, scheduling them into your day just like you plan time for friends, work, learning and helping others.
Do you want a more successful life? Start with a healthy brain. Oxygenate it often throughout the day with exercise and movement, because your brain cannot store the oxygen you give it and it must have a steady supply. No gym membership is required for this one. It’s free and easy.
By taking care of your body, you are taking care of success for teens. It’s a foundational move. It’s your choice.