Go, Slow and Whoa! A Quick Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

You may feel stressed from school, extracurricular activities, or just life in general. This busy schedule may lead you to skip breakfast, buy lunch from the vending machines, and grab what’s in the refrigerator for dinner. Yet healthy choices and behaviors, like eating nutritious foods and becoming physically active on a daily basis, may help you meet the challenges you face in your life. Eating healthy and exercising can give you a boost of energy and also help your learning skills.

It all starts with breakfast. Yes, most of us would rather sleep an extra 10 minutes rather than wake up and eat breakfast; but missing this important meal could affect your performance in school. By eating breakfast you can increase your attention span and memory, and as a result, have more energy, causing you to become less restless and sleepy during class.

Then comes lunch. Yes, we all know how tempting it is to go grab “froyo” and cookies from the lunch line or grab some chips; even though it is delicious food, it is loaded with a lot of calories. Instead of buying snacks from the vending machine, decide a couple days a week to bring your lunch from home. Try packing your lunch with foods that will meet your nutritional needs for the day.

Then dinner comes around. Most of us live a hectic life of GO! GO! GO!, and it’s hard to have a sit-down dinner with your family. It mostly consist of eating on the run, snacking in front of the TV, or nonstop munching from after school to bedtime. By eating dinner at the table with your family, you are more likely to consume foods that benefit you rather than “on-the-go” foods. Eating healthy is just a way of life that can lead to beneficial results.

Foods are not the only component to a healthy lifestyle; physical activity also has possible emotional and social benefits. It can help you improve your self-esteem and mood, and thus decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression. It can help you do better in school and improve your teamwork skills through sports. Physical activity should be part of your daily life, whether you play sports, are a champ in ultimate Frisbee in gym, or exercise on a daily basis. It is said that teens should be active for “ 60 minutes or more all days of the week,” according to LetsMove.gov. Changes occur slowly and overtime you will start to see a difference in your lifestyle. Set realistic goals and stick to them. It’s not hard to choose the right foods or exercise; it just takes the right mindset. We all know how many times we walk up and down the stairs of the school everyday; use that as motivation to continue to exercise and eat healthy to help you improve school life and live in a stress-free environment.