Friday, August 9, 2013

New School Year.....New Healthy Schedules!

Preparing to go back to school in the next few weeks gives us new things to add to our schedules.  Oftentimes the stress and "busy-ness" involved are what lead us to unhealthy habits.  With a little planning we can make this a time to schedule health into our lives.  Our children, especially our little ones will follow whatever schedule we give them.   Here are a few tips for creating a healthy schedule.

#1  Make time to prepare a menu for the week along with a shopping list to go along with it.  We spend so much time waiting in the car that this could be the perfect time to write up a list.
#2  Make meals in bulk.  I have found that proteins such as chicken are cheaper when I buy a family pack.  Even though I may only need 2 chicken breasts for dinner, I will grill the entire family pack and then use the rest in meals throughout the week (ex. Grilled chicken breasts one night, chicken alfredo another night, and White Chicken Chili another night).  When you already have part of your meal prepared, it makes it easier to stick to your schedule.

#3  Stress plays a big part in living a healthy life and the most stressful times of the day are usually the hour before getting out the door in the morning and the hour after getting home at night.   Scheduling ahead makes for a less stressful situation.  A friend has her kids lay their clothes out and put their backpacks and lunches together the night before so there is no searching for the lost shoe in the morning!  At our house we love breakfast so we prepare pancake batter, smoothie ingredients or put together a breakfast casserole the night before so that final preparations are all that are needed in the morning.

#4  Get enough sleep.  Sometimes this is easier said than done, but sleep plays a huge part in a healthy lifestyle.  It decreases stress,  decreases weight gain and gives you enough energy to get through another day.  The best thing to do is have a bed time, for everyone!  A bedtime routine works great with kids, as well as adults.  Unplug yourself from life's distractions and read a book, think and ponder or write in a journal.  Find what you need to do to relax and enjoy a couple of minutes to unwind and prepare for sleep.

#5  Just get moving!   You do not need a personal trainer to tell you how to exercise and stay healthy, just move and hopefully involve your children along with you.  Take a walk as a family, park further away at the grocery store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around during your lunch hour, play a game with your kids or better yet, teach them your favorite game.  Just move!
These are only five ideas and I'm sure you have more.  Please feel free to share what works with your family.   When you want to start a healthy schedule you may see resistance at first from yourself or your family but within a week or two everyone is used to the new schedule, so hang in there!  Your health is worth it!

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