|Posted on August 15, 2019 at 6:00 AM|
Photo from Vistaprint Free Stock.
I've heard parents and teachers exclaim, "School starts next week. Can you believe it?" Frantically they shop for kids' clothes and school supplies. All those forms will come home to be filled out and returned to teachers. Football practice and cheerleading tryouts place many parents' backsides in the seats of bleachers waiting… waiting… waiting for kids to finish. In all of the madness, when will you get to take care of you so you can take care of them more manageable? How can you set the tone for a totally healthy school year for everyone in your family? Even soccer moms and dads need to continue or begin living healthy while progressing toward weight loss goals. You influence your kids' health practices by your own example by maintaining consistency across the board. Here are a few tips and helps to get started:
1. Pray with your kids before they go to school in the morning. Read the Bible passage for the day from your Bible app. Send everyone off with God's Word in their hearts while giving Him charge of everyone's day. Do your devotions at lunchtime or while they are at their after school events.
2. When they practice for their after school activities, you walk. Take a walk around the track or do some laps through the school building. If there is a more private space available, try doing bodyweight exercises.
3. Take your walk to the stairs or bleachers. It's an excellent way to increase your cardio without running. If the coach isn't using the track for team practice, find out if you can walk or jog the track.
4. Break your workout up throughout your day. One of the ways I do this is to do one set of bodyweight exercises three times interspersed in my day. I take a walk or bike in the evening.
5. Pack healthy snacks for on the way home for after-school activities or on the way home from school, that is, if you pick your kids up from school. Avoid the fast-food drive-through to save calories and money while protecting everyone's health.
6. Avoid buying the pre-packaged lunch items for yours and your kids' lunches. We use snack-size zipper bags for small items like nuts and sandwich size bags for sandwiches, cut veggies, and fruit. The only pre-packaged food I buy is applesauce cups. Set up an assembly line the night before and enlist helpers. Remember to put a frozen ice pack in lunches that contain foods like meats.
7. Prep healthy meals ahead of time and freeze. You can easily cook or re-heat them for dinner. Involve family in the prep time to teach them good healthy habits. You can spend more time at dinner discussing everyone's day.
8. After your kids go back to school, take some time to refresh your wardrobe, too. I used to pick out one or two new outfits in the fall then donate what either didn't fit me or weren't wanted anymore. Also, everyone in our house got new underwear and socks because they were on sale at great prices. Just by anticipating new clothes, you will probably become more conscious of what you eat and getting your exercise.
9. When everyone gets home from school, use some of the time to get your kids moving before they sit down for homework. Play, rake leaves,whatever gets them physically moving. Otherwise, take a walk or bike ride together after dinner.Burning off extra energy will help them concentrate on their homework. It also set the tone for regular physical activity.
10. Keep regular bedtimes for everyone in your house so they have the opportunity for no less than 6 hours, preferably 8 hours. Find a good app for tracking sleep that synchs with your activity tracker. Restful sleep improves mood, brain function, protects your heart, and healthy weight management.
11. Find ways to track healthy habits and Bible reading. Give praise or some positive recognition. Use a daily or weekly challenge to keep everyone motivated to succeed. Help those who don't achieve their goals figure out a strategy to improve.
When you integrate these practices from the first day of school on, you set a totally healthy tone for the entire school year.
Please, share some great tips you have in the comments below. May God bless you and your family this school year!