Fall is right around the corner and school has started once again. Although it is hard to believe that the summer has gone by so quickly, it’s time for all of us and our little ones to get back into the Fall routine! Here are some tips on how to get adjusted safely and in a healthy way:
Transitioning away from the late nights of summer to a more reasonable bedtime can be difficult; however, it’s been shown that sleep is critical to both the healing of the body and allowing the brain to focus. Get your kiddos to bed on time – it is beneficial for everyone’s peace and well-being!
According to the National Institute of Health, your immune system depends on sleep to stay healthy and to fight common infections. Now we know it takes more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away, it takes SLEEP, too!
Eating healthy, well-balanced meals is important for the growth and development of your children. Also, try not to skip meals yourself, and you will lead a good example for your child.
Not enough time in the morning? Try making a smoothie the night before and have it ready to go in jars in the fridge. You can use Greek yogurt (protein), add spinach (they will never know), and frozen fruit. No extra sugar needed… Yum!
Hydration is key when participating in sports, and also while healing from an injury. In order to make sure your child is getting enough water throughout the day, always send a water bottle with them to practice or to school.
Be careful not to give your kids too many sport drinks; they have a ton of added sugar. For example, Gatorade has 14g of sugar in an 8oz serving. Sport drinks like these should not be substitutions for water.
Static stretching is when you hold a muscle in a non-moving stretched position for any length of time. It is fine for after practice or games, but you want to do dynamic stretching beforehand.
Dynamic warm-ups include putting a muscle through a stretched position while in motion. It helps you to engage muscles you will be using in your sport, improves range of motion, and improves muscle performance and body awareness. Here are a couple of examples for your child to try when getting back into sports:
- Tin Soldier Stretch: This stretch primarily targets your hamstrings. You lift your opposite arm to leg in a marching position, while the knee is straight, with toes pointing up to the ceiling.
- Butt Kicks: This stretch primarily targets your quadriceps. You start with an exaggerated jogging motion with your heel trying to kick your bottom.
We should all strive to keep our kids healthy and ready for learning, whether they are in the classroom or on the field.
Megan and Diane