Now it’s mid-August, summer is winding down and it’s time to prepare the kids to go back to school. Alongside the backpacks, clothes, and other supplies, don’t forget your own Back To School Health Checklist:
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are equally important factors in academic performance. For tips on making healthy eating choices, the USDA has a wonderful webpage full of resources at https://www.choosemyplate.gov. For exercise, at least one hour of physical activity a day is recommended, but make it fun! Dance, sports, biking, rock climbing and the like can be fun as group activities. Children and teens also need at least 9 hours of sleep at night. According to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), poor sleep in teens was linked to higher blood pressure. So, make sure the kids get to count their sheep and establish a sleep schedule with them. For more information, see the MedlinePlus magazine article at https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/fall13/articles/fall13pg20.html.