It’s back to school time here in Texas (and most of the rest of the western hemisphere)! What does that have to do with health and fitness, you might ask? It has a lot to do with it, if you ask me!! All around me I see kids that are overweight. All around me I see parents that are overweight! All around me, I see men and women wondering how they can improve their health and fitness and still have time to do the things that are NECESSARY!! I have a few ideas I would like to share with you to help get this new school year off to a great, healthy start!
Start the day off a few minutes earlier than you would normally start it, and do it with the kids!! All it takes is 5 minutes to get the blood flowing. Do a couple of minutes of stretching. Do a couple of minutes of basic exercises; like jumping jacks, knee bends, push ups, sit ups. Then do a minute of just laying on your back and being still to think about your day!!
Don’t do more than a minute or you might fall back to sleep! You could also start your day with doing something fun like this! Be creative, just do something that will wake your body up and make you more alert for the day!!
If you do this for 5 minutes a day, your body will be awake and alert. And your blood will be flowing. You will feel better and more attune to what is going on around you! It will also help the kids do better in school!
NEXT — Eat a good, healthy breakfast!! I know what you are going to say, breakfast takes too long to eat. Breakfast is too boring, I’m not hungry in the morning. I know all of these excuses!! My son HATES to eat first thing in the morning!! Honestly, so do I BUT….I must eat something with protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats to wake my metabolism up! Studies show that if you eat breakfast you will be healthier and do better at school or work! So…eat breakfast!! Even if it’s a protein smoothie
or a bagel with some deli turkey, like my son eats nearly every day on your way to work or school, you will have a better day with food to start the day! Your breakfast doesn’t have to be a traditional breakfast. You could eat leftovers from the night before….just eat something!!
The next thing you can try for a healthier kids (and you) — is to MOVE as much as possible!! I realize most kids are in school for 7+ hours a day but encourage your kids to move as much as possible when they aren’t required to sit!! If your kids still get recess, ask them to play tag, climb or in general just run around while on recess!! If they don’t get a recess, try to get them involved in an activity after school. Or go outside and play tag with them when the weather is nice enough to do so! It’s still 100* here in north Texas, so we will be swimming as much as possible when we are done with school work. I also just bought a mini trampoline for my son, to burn off energy when he gets the wiggles and we can’t go swimming! The mini trampolines don’t cost much money, and are small enough for even the smallest rooms! Mine is going on the patio of our apartment as soon as it gets cooler outside!
The next thing you can do for back to school time is prepare healthy food. Food that can be cooked in the crock pot or packed in a lunch bag to make things as easy for everyone as possible. Pick up lots of fresh fruits and veggies and prepare them in fun to eat shapes and sizes that will encourage kids to want to eat them! The crock pot is a life saver for busy evenings when you don’t have time to really prepare a meal! We have a lot of crock pot recipes to try over at our sister site, ShrinkingKitchen.com. I’ve learned that we can eat a early dinner and then have a quick snack after we go to karate every night and that helps my son sleep better at night, too! Eating food that will be nutritious doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to be real food!
And my final tip for back to school time is to make sure we are all getting enough sleep! I can always tell when my son hasn’t had enough sleep. He gets cranky! He gets whiny! He gets irritable! He also is very likely to get sick if it goes on for very long!! Make sure your whole household gets enough sleep on a regular basis. Kids need 10+ hours of sleep a day!! Sometimes that’s a pretty tall order for kids with all of their school work and activities but do what you can to help them get the rest they need. Limit electronics before bedtime and listen to calming music or stories on audio to help them relax enough to sleep. My son always wants to read something that doesn’t require much thinking right before he goes to bed. Those nights I let him read, he tends to go to sleep faster without getting out of bed to tell me one more thing! Establishing a good bedtime routine for everyone is important! It helps our brain to switch gears and prepare to sleep, which in turn lets us fall asleep faster and sleep deeper!!
I would encourage you to try all of these things every day for a few weeks to see how different your kid’s school day goes. And if you don’t have kids going back to school, give these things a try and see how much better your day goes!!
Are you ready for the fall? I am definitely ready for the cooler weather of fall!! Do you have any tips you would like to suggest as we prepare for our fall routine? I would love to hear them in the comments!!
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