Let Junior help you meet your fitness goals!
(A guest health article by Gertrude.)
The start of the new school year brings us the opportunity to incorporate changes into our daily routine. Bedtime is earlier, the morning more rushed, but even so, a few well-thought out tweaks to your day can add maximum mileage to your fitness goals.
Start with breakfast. Start with breakfast! You can’t say it enough. And it is a fact, as real as the sun will be rising tomorrow, that eating a proper breakfast that features protein is directly linked to student improvement in school. It’s also a fact that even if that good breakfast puts you over the top in total calories, you’re still less likely to become fat than those who eat too-few calories for breakfast or skip it entirely. A good breakfast is good all around, and if you don’t start your day regularly with it you should start the habit today!
Quick-start school tip:
At our house we have protein milkshakes for school-day breakfasts. We fill a blender half-full of ice and half-full of low-fat milk (or low-fat chocolate milk, my favorite!) and add three tablespoons of instant malted to a scoop or packet of our favorite protein supplement. It blends up a cold, think shake that’s perfect to start the day—tasty, refreshing, smart, and healthy too!
Walk to school and carry your bags. If you live within four blocks of your child’s school you should really be ashamed to drive. Ashamed! You do see that traffic congestion and road rage the convergence of cars, parents and little kids rushing around in a tight school-zone produces, don’t you? Even if it’s on your way to work, not bringing your car into that mess is a good thing… for by walking with your child and then walking back to your car to get to work you just had 15-20 minutes of low-impact exercise before your even sat down to your first email. And even if it’s an impossible goal everyday, try to carve out at least one day a week to walk to school with your kids if you live that close by.
Real back-to-school trick:
Even if you drive don’t drop your kids off but park as far away as possible and walk your children to school. Those precious few extra minutes with them really adds up in a busy week. You’re sharing priceless moments, and by carrying the school bags, even rolling those pull-along kinds, your back and arms will be thanking you years from now for the extra work!
Having a healthy snack as soon as you get home may strike you as hard to do. Why? Because it takes planning, patience and love, and after your own hard day it’s hard to come home and switch gears to wearing the mommy or daddy chef hat. But someone has to do it, so make it easy. Rolled-up slices of deli ham wrapped around low-fat sliced cheese and popped in the microwave make a good low-calorie/high protein snack. So does a sliced orange with five bagel chips, or a bag of pre-peeled baby carrots dipped in cottage cheese. Yum.
Clever back to school tip:
We make ready the next day’s coming-home snack the night before while cooking dinner.
Finally, make sure you and your family drinks enough water to keep every part of your body, from head to toe, lubricated and in high working order. And don’t forget the apple for teacher!