Back-to-school season doesn’t have to mean chaos—this time of year could actually bring more stability into your life, especially when it comes to your health. As much as we love the laid-back vibe of summer, getting your child back into a routine could be just what your family needs to stay in check. In fact, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics found that children with family routines can be better off both emotionally and socially.
Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from school being back in session—parents can too, particularly when it involves their health choices. Here are some ways to make the most of the back-to-school season:
Move more during the commute
If you’re one of the lucky individuals who lives within a several-block radius from your child’s school, take advantage of the free opportunity to exercise and walk them to and from. If not, get creative about how you sneak in some steps to this morning routine. Take a stroll to the bus stop with them, or park far in the school lot and walk your child to the front of the school.
Prep lunch (for two) in advance
Rather than handing your child some lunch money, prepare a healthy lunch for them to take to school. Best of all, you can prepare a little extra for yourself since you’ll already have the ingredients—just double the quantities. Hangry noon-time will thank you later. For inspiration, check out some of these healthy, packable lunches.
Get to bed early
Now that your child has to wake up early for school, it’s time to reinstate bedtime in your household. Not only will there be peace and quiet earlier in the night, but you’ll have a good excuse to get to bed early yourself. To keep yourself on track, try setting your personal sleep schedule on the Fitbit app to help identify your sleep patterns and stay aligned with your sleep goals.
Make time for a workout
With your child busy with before/after school activities, you’ll have more time to squeeze in a workout. If your kid isn’t quite old enough for after-school activities, try squeezing in a workout during your lunch break for an uninterrupted mid-day sweat sesh.
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