October 7 2015

Find Your Back to School Balance

Written by Megan Brandt 

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. 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 dqueeze 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 healthy benefits. Instead, choose bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats to get the job done.

5. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
Missed meals, meeting 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.

6. Make Homework Time More Active
We sit a lot! We’re constantly sitting in a chair or sitting in front of a computer while studying or if you’re helping your child with their homework. All that sitting wreaks havoc on overall health. Counteract the negative affects by adding in a walk whenever possible. Try adding in a 2-minute walking break every hour within your study session. 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 or class cancelled? 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.

On RevUp? Talk to your RevUp Health Coach about how to manage your back to school woes and set yourself up for success.

About Megan Brandt, MS, RevUp Health Coach

meganfinal-web.jpgCredentials: Master of Science (MS) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion
Certified Athletic Trainer, National Athletic Training Association
Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine

Specialties: Fitness assessments and programming, corrective exercise, injury rehabilitation, and health promotion.

More about me: I am originally from Appleton, WI and received my MS from CALU of Pennsylvania after I was awarded the Pursuit of Excellence in Health and Fitness Award.  I previously operated my own personal training business for six years and prior to that I worked as a personal trainer and an athletic trainer in a variety of settings, such as clinics, colleges, high schools, and health clubs.

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