It’s that time of year again, where we get ready to go back to school, back to classes and back to campus.
Don’t let all the hard work you did over the summer to stay healthy go down the drain, and start the year off right with these 5 healthy habits for back to school.
Not only will they help you do better in school and boost your brain power, but they’ll also help your waistline!
- Meal prep – School gets busy! Between group projects and extra curricular activities, sports teams and time with friends, not to mention going to classes and studying, sometimes it seems like there is no time to cook. For this, we meal prep. Every weekend, make a few meals ahead and prep some fresh fruit and vegetables to have on hand all week long. The meals will come in handy on the nights when you get home late or need a quick dinner before you have to be out the door to practice, and the pre-cut vegetables and fruit will make a great snack for those busy days when you are logging lots of time cramming at the library.
- Bring your own snacks – It’s great to meal prep and have your dinner ready ahead of time, but just as important is to have lots of snacks ready! During your weekend meal prep time, make one or two healthy snacks to have for the week, such as homemade granola bars or energy bites. These options are energy packed, filling you up and fueling your brain, and are a healthy choice packed with nutrients and fiber. Best of all though, making your own snacks saves you money, as you are less likely to stop somewhere and buy something to spend money on an unhealthy alternative like a muffin at the campus coffee shop.
- Exercise in the morning – Even when you have the best of intentions to exercise after school or after classes for the day, it doesn’t always happen. Maybe you just end up having a really busy, stressful day and are exhausted by the time you get home and don’t have the energy for the gym, or maybe you get invited with some friends to go out to dinner after classes for a birthday celebration. Whatever the case, you want to be able to have your evenings free for whatever might come up and the best way to do that is to get your fitness session in ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry. Pack your bag the night before and take everything you need for the day so that you can go to the gym and then head straight to classes. It might seem like a long day now, but you’ll be really thankful for it when you get to go home in the evening and relax with no pressure to be at the gym!
- Eat protein – It’s easy when you’re at home during the summer to just grab a snack if your lunch wasn’t filling enough and you are hungry soon after, but not the case when you are at school or on campus. Avoid feeing hungry too soon after meals by adding in protein with every meal. Protein fills you up more and slows down the release of sugar into your blood stream, allowing the food you ate to provide you more long-lasting energy. The best option is to combine protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fats at every meal to maximize nutrient absorption and make ensure the fuel provides long lasting energy.
- Drink water – The hustle and bustle of being busy again and getting back into the school routine can make it easy to forget the simple things that you were so good about all summer long. Like drinking water. Put in a conscious effort to consume 2-3 liters of water a day, and more if you are constantly on the go. Not only with this help fill you up and reduce sugar cravings, but water allows your brain to function optimally so you can perform at all the tasks you need to, and prevents those nasty dehydration caused headaches. Get in the habit of carrying water with you and you’ll never have an excuse.