September 6, 2019
By: Danny Osias,
Fitness Center Assistant Director
As the kids go back to school, some parents may find it easier or harder to stick to a routine. It’s about that time to get ready for dropping off, picking up, sports, extra-curricular activities, etc. Some parents get exhausted just thinking about it. It’s easy to make excuses and say you don’t have time. We know it’s tough, but here are 5 tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay energized, and keep stress under control during this back to school season!
- Time Management
We all have heard this before: “I don’t have the time!” or “I’m too busy!” The reality is you won’t have time unless you make the time. One way of doing this is to schedule it on your calendar. Whether it is on a physical calendar or on your phone. Set a reminder alarm. Find those little gaps whether it’s before the kids wake up, right after dropping them off at school, during lunch breaks or at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to take up much time. Only 10-15 minutes can make a large difference. A couple 10 minutes stair climbs, squats, walks, and stretches scattered out throughout the day will add up!
- Make your food enjoyable
The best diet is one you can stick to. Eating a salad every day just isn’t sustainable. Being busy means you probably have to eat on the go or when you have the time. Try to prepare what you want to eat the day before so you don’t find yourself making bad decisions out of hunger. Healthy food can be enjoyable if you prepare ahead of time and pick the right foods. Look up quick and easy recipes and get to the farmer’s market for in-season produce. These types of foods will be full of flavor and easy on the budget!
- Have playtime with the kids
Get back in the spirit of being a kid again by doing physical activities with your kids, whether it’s throwing a football, playing tag, kicking a soccer ball, riding bikes, or hiking. If they are very young then play hide and seek or just get on the floor and get dirty with them. Anything that gets everybody moving constitutes as calorie-burning exercise.
- Squeeze in a workout at home
If it hasn’t been evident already, you do not need a gym membership to workout. If you like going to a gym then, by all means, carry on! But in today’s world with the internet and YouTube, you can search up any type of workout you want and get to work in the comfort of your own home! All you need is your body weight. If you want to get fancy you can get some small dumbbells, bands, and a stability ball, but it really isn’t needed. Some quick options are yoga, high-intensity interval training, and Pilates.
- Sleep when you can
One large study done in Wisconsin between 1989 and 2008 showed that parents with children under the age of 2 lost 13 minutes of sleep every night. (https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/177/5/394/141817) Also, parents with children over the age 2 seemed to be associated with increased daytime sleepiness and dozing off during the day. Sleep deprivation is a big problem in the United States regardless of whether you have kids or not. Sleep needs to be a huge priority.
One tip is to take a nap during the day if possible. All you need is a 20-30 minutes power nap to increase energy and wakefulness. The best time to nap usually is after lunch because blood sugar and energy will start to decrease. Do not nap for too long or you will wake up groggy and feel even more tired. Another tip is to give yourself at least 8 hours before it’s time to wake up. That way if the kids wake you up for 1-2 hours in the night you’ll still get at least 6 hours of rest.