As both young children and college students are heading back to their dorms, athletic fields, and classrooms, things ramp up and life can become much more hectic for students and parents. Between jobs, getting kids ready for the next day, or tackling hours of homework, health and wellness can take a backseat for us all. Never fear, there are simple and easy ways to stay fit, be healthy, and have a successful day!
Drink More Fluids
Staying hydrated throughout the day can help you stay energized and suppress feelings of hunger. Start with nutrient-rich drinks like milk and include water, seltzer, or green tea for excellent options to keep you alert and focused. Drink up!
Eat a Healthy Breakfast Everyday
Whether it’s 8:00 am class, getting the kids to school, or early practice on the soccer field, take the time to have a nutritious breakfast. Breakfast provides essential nutrients that are stored as energy to fuel you through your day – this means less snacking. Smoothies are a great example of a meal that can be prepared quickly or ahead of time, stored in the fridge, and grabbed on your way out the door. Check out these easy-to-make smoothie recipes.
Make a List of Action Items
Do you often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do? Do you find yourself missing deadlines? Now is the time to start a ‘To-Do List’ or ‘List of Action Items’. Keep a journal or calendar of the work you need to accomplish, give yourself a brief note of the project as well as the due date. Check the list each morning and add assignments and work as they come up. Students – same strategy goes for homework!
Keep Healthy Snacks On-Hand
Even after a healthy breakfast, hunger can strike. Avoid a trip to the vending machine by keeping healthy snacks on hand. Keep healthy snacks at home, in your bag, or backpack, even in the car. Some simple options include nuts, veggies and hummus, rice cakes with peanut butter, yogurt, or string cheese (if you’ve got a fridge or lunchbox). Choose foods that are small to carry and pack a powerful energy kick!
Don’t Sit All Day
No matter if it’s sitting in a classroom or at your office desk all day, identify times when you can get up and get active, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time. Sitting for extended periods can lead to a slower metabolism, weakened muscles, and an increased risk for health problems. Think about walking to school or using a lunch break to get in some stretching and a walk. If you’re in the office, use a standing desk or swiss ball as your chair – both engage lower body muscles.
Set a Bedtime and Stick to it
Like to burn the midnight oil? That may not help in the long run. Regardless of age, regular schedules and bedtime rituals help us get the sleep we need and give us the ability to function at a high level the next day. Work to create a nighttime routine – limit screen time (computers, TV, phones), avoid late-night snacking, choose a bedtime and stick to it. Doing these things can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and wake up more rested and refreshed.
Make Time for a Morning Workout
Connected to getting a goodnight’s sleep, establishing time for a morning workout can help you stay healthy, and invigorate you for the day to come. Start your day with a jog, bicycle ride, or hit the weight room. Doing these things can boost your metabolism, increase focus, and brighten your mood. If your kids have time, encourage them to hit the backyard for a few minutes before school too!
Take Time to Organize
Taking just a half-hour each night to organize for the coming day can help reduce stress and avoid headaches. Take the time to put together tomorrow’s lunch and healthy snacks. Keep an area in your home specifically for bags, sports equipment, and anything else you know you need for tomorrow’s adventures. Doing these will help you sleep better and increase time for those other health-boosting activities.