By: Susan Pasqual
Finally, the kids are back to school! You’re done finding activities, camps, planning games, and hosting sleepovers which means it’s time to get back to a normal routine. Back to school season brings car-pooling, sports, late-night homework sessions, but also that structure and routine that allows us to feel more in control! In control of your time; In control of your meal prepping; In control of their gym schedule. Getting into a healthy back to school routine may take a little work, but it can be easy with these tips for simple planning!
The first step for a healthy back to school schedule is to create a solid morning routine! Try waking up at an earlier hour. This ensures you have time to begin the day in a healthy way by taking time for yourself before you have to start rushing around to get everyone ready for school. Be sure you get all of your morning routines done first, such as:
- Making the bed
- Putting your things away
- Using the bathroom
- Taking your medications/vitamins
This way, you don’t have to attend to these small chores when you get home or try deal with the nagging feeling of being one step behind all day. Next, be sure to eat a healthy and high-quality breakfast! A cup of coffee or a donut on the way won’t fuel your body with the sustained energy you need to stay focused, and these poor morning habits can push your body out of fat burning mode! You’ll benefit so much more from being up and productive for that 20 minutes than you would spending that 20 minutes hitting snooze.
People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan! Often, lack of planning is what ruins your good intentions. This is especially true when our schedules change during the fall. Back to school schedules can get crazy, and we can find ourselves rushing and hurrying until it’s too late. At the end of a long day, you’re exhausted, the stores are closed and the fridge is empty. So, we make a quick pizza stop that knocks us off track! If your goal is to lose weight (or even if it’s just to maintain), it is important to create a healthy back to school schedule that allows you to plan your meals ahead of time. This allows you to knock tasks off of your to-do lists like meal prepping and grocery shopping so you can be enjoying your healthy meals!
The best ways to stay focused is to plan your week out ahead of time, and it doesn’t need to take long to do!
Some people take 30-60 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday to make a grocery list that includes everything they need to stay on track that week. Some even spend the afternoon making a few meals in advance so those long workdays don’t get longer by having to cook and clean up afterward! Often, starting with finding some recipes you like is the easiest way to begin as each recipe will have an ingredient list! You can marinate and cook your protein, steam and chop your veggies, clean your fruit, and even pre-portion some grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches!
Just remember to make sure you’re eating lean proteins for each meal, as well as working to get in at least 8 (think 8 is great) cups of vegetables daily. A lunch salad often has 3-4 servings just of greens! Add in a few healthy fats, some fruit, and your water, then you’re set for success!
Fit In Fitness
Not everyone is an early riser but, with after-school activities and parental commitments, those evening hours may not always accommodate time at the gym! That’s okay!
Fitting fitness into your healthy back to school schedule just means fitting in and committing to a set amount of time that works for you. Busier people tend to gravitate towards waking up early to exercise first thing in the morning. Not only does it set their day up healthily, but they notice there are less distractions from work, family, and commitments that tend to ‘pop-up’ during the day and derail evening workouts. Here are a few tips for early risers:
- Have your gym water bottle and workout clothes ready the night before. That way, you can wake up and have everything you need to go.
- Check your gym for morning classes. Many gyms offer early morning fitness classes that will help you stay motivated with up to date and fun group songs and exercises.
- Meet a friend or finding a gym buddy always helps because you can stay committed to meeting them there.
When you’re planning your workouts, be sure to fit in cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. Creating a healthy back to school schedule combining all 3 will give you an all-around great workout and help shape your body with optimal body composition!
No, we’re not kidding. It’s easy to let that “one last thing” or “just 5 more minutes” eat away at your sleep. Sleep is so important for health, wellness, and weight loss. Your body needs REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep to allow your body to repair itself from the stresses of the day. Without it, you get tired, fatigued, and groggy which makes it difficult to wake up early, prepare healthy foods and of course to exercise!
Often times people who lack sleep tend to crave sugary, salty or caffeinated foods to help them get through the day which isn’t going to help you reach your goals. This makes sleep a staple in your healthy back to school routine, so be sure to turn those devices off and give yourself time to unwind into a relaxing night’s rest.
Embrace a healthy back to school routine, and remember that
you can do anything you set your mind to with some extra preparation!