It’s hard to believe it’s just a matter of days until the kids are back at school. Though there’s no need to abandon your flip-flops just yet, now is the time to consider some of the simple ways we can make the return to school a healthy, happy, and organized one.
Today I thought I’d share 10 tips I find helpful:
- Make sure the entire family starts the day with a healthy breakfast. Just as your car needs fuel, so too does your body.
- Encourage kids to use active transportation to get to and from school. Let them walk or bike, and be an active role model by doing the same whenever possible.
- Encourage your kids to be active at lunch and recess. You can help by packing equipment like jump ropes and balls into their backpacks.
- Set limits on screen time. With only 9% of Canadian kids active enough to meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, we need to help our kids swap screen time for active time. The after-school period can easily be made more active by encouraging kids to play outdoors with friends or by registering them for tennis lessons or other active pursuits.
- Decide upon fall activities and note registration dates for soccer, swimming lessons, and of course, tennis lessons. Most tennis facilities offer outdoor lessons after school, in the evenings, and on weekends. Be sure to look into winter tennis facilities and programs too. Many communities don’t have indoor courts, but find other ways of offering tennis programming throughout the winter months.
6 – Say “no” to junk food lunches offered by schools, often as a means of fundraising. Help kids pack their own healthy lunches from home instead.
7 – No matter how busy you find yourselves in September, set aside time to enjoy as a family, even if it’s just a 30 minute rally on the tennis courts a couple of evenings each week.
8 – Advocate for and support physical education and active programming at your child’s school. Be sure your child’s teacher and principal know you value this programming as much as any other.
9 – Make the most of still-warm evenings and lit tennis courts in your community. At my community club, we play as late into autumn as possible
10 – Remember that exercise is a great way to manage stress and to help ease the transition from long summer days into the routine of a new school year.