It’s back to school time and for most of us, it arrives way too fast. Whether you’re a parent of a child in school or a college student yourself, back to school time means crazy schedules of rushing from classes to practices and back home for studying or making dinner. With so much going on it’s easy to let fitness and nutrition slide by the wayside, but incorporating these 10 tips will help you move into the new school year with ease and keep you focused on your health.
1. Make Time for Fitness
Create a weekly or monthly calendar of your family schedule or class schedule, extra activities, appointments, and other responsibilities. Once you get a clear picture of your daily and weekly schedules, schedule in time for exercise. Even if you can only squeeze in 10 minutes here and there, it’s better than nothing at all. Aim for 30 minutes of heart-healthy cardio most days of the week.
2. Manage your Stress
To counter the stress of an overloaded schedule, make sure to include “me time”. This should be an activity you participate in purely for enjoyment. For some people exercising is their me time, while others prefer to curl up with a good book or soak in a bath. Make a list of things that you enjoy doing and include them in your daily schedule.
3. Log your Meals
During this busy time of year, it can become more difficult to make healthy food choices. Before you know it, the pounds can start creeping up on the scale. Avoid this by being aware of your meal choices, portion sizes, and mood when eating. Food logging allows you to look back and identify behaviors that have gotten you off track.
4. Include Strength Training
Engaging in regular resistance training at least two times a week promotes muscle, bone, and joint health. And don’t worry, you don’t have to have a gym membership or a ton of equipment to reap strength training’s health benefits. Instead, choose bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats to get the job done.
5. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
Missed meals, meetings running late, back to back classes, and easily accessible junk food are common roadblocks which can halt your healthy eating intentions. Prevent overeating and keep your energy up by packing healthy snacks in your car, at your desk, in your backpack, or in your purse for “emergency” situations.
6. Make Homework and Work Time More Active
We sit a lot! We’re constantly sitting in a chair or sitting in front of a computer while studying or working. All that sitting wreaks havoc on overall health. Counteract the negative effects by adding in a walk whenever possible. Try adding in a 2-minute walking break every hour. Walk between classes or on your lunch breaks. Whenever you can fit it in, just get moving!
7. Keep a Packed Gym Bag in Your Car
Soccer practice canceled, or you got out of work early? Keep a gym bag packed with extra clothes, shoes, and a water bottle so you can squeeze in a workout anywhere, anytime!
8. Get Enough ZZZ’s
Sleep is crucial for optimum health and wellness. When our bodies don’t get enough shut-eye it affects performance, metabolism, and immunity. Plan your day so you can get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
9. Grab a Buddy
Schedule a workout once a week with a friend or family member. Having someone to share your accomplishments and struggles with provides both of you with positive emotional support as well as keeps you both accountable, motivated, and makes workouts more fun!
10. Set Goals and Rewards
Keep your health and fitness on track by creating small goals that are achievable in short periods of time. Rewarding yourself with new workout gear, a night out with friends, or a new book after reaching each goal will inspire you to continue your healthy habit for the long haul.