I've seen a lot of questions and comments about how to stay fit in school. Whether you're in middle school, high school, or college, finding the time to eat right and get exercise is difficult. Heck, both of those objectives are difficult no matter what your age, but staying fit in school poses a special problem. You have loads of classwork, tons of homework, limited lunch selections, and while the archetype of the high school or college student usually involves the stereotypical party girl, the truth of the matter is that you often finish up the day exhausted, am I right? In that case, just keep reading: from diet to exercise, I've got all you need to know about how to be healthy in school.
1. Pack Your Own Lunch
School lunches are just abhorrent. I mean, they're delicious, but they're awful for you. I know the lure of pizza, warmed by a heat lamp, is tempting, but learning how to stay fit in school requires certain sacrifices. Most importantly, try bringing your own lunch. Remember in grade school? It was cool because you had an awesome lunch box, your mom made fantastic sandwiches, and you totally got to bring soda to school. Okay, well, think of like that, except minus the soda, snack cakes, and BLTs. Seriously, you know you can eat healthy and still enjoy your food. Try to avoid cafeteria food, because even the healthy options aren't necessarily good for you.
2. Don't Skip Breakfast
I'm going backwards here, since breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day. I pretty much stopped eating breakfast when I hit middle school, and I know I wasn't the only one; I'm sure a lot of you make that mistake as well. It's bad for several reasons: it crashes your metabolism; your energy really lags; and you're so hungry by lunchtime that you're craving all the carbs from heat lamp pizza and fries. Even if you can't sit down to a proper breakfast, try fruit and yogurt, a nutritious smoothie, or a quick bowl of oatmeal.
3. Learn Time Management
Because school is time consuming, and it only gets worse the farther you go, time management is essential. If you want to stay fit and healthy, then haphazardly doing your homework the night before it's due isn't always going to work. (I can't say it never works, because I practically majored in Procrastination.) Whether you do it in the mornings or in the evenings, you have to make time for exercise. You can absolutely do it on the weekends as well, by try to get in some physical activity at least two or three times during the school week. In fact, there are several ways to do that...
4. Join a Sport
Not only does playing a sport teach you how to stay fit in school, it also teaches you about teamwork! Yay! Seriously, if you like softball, volleyball, running track, or even cheering, there are tons of options available. Even if you simply choose to make use of your school's gym, you can easily find ways to exercise. Some schools even offer fitness classes, so if you really don't want to play a sport, try that. Or...
5. Play in the Band
As a former but still proud band geek, I have to confess that being in the marching band taught me how to be healthy in school, along with many other lessons. For those of you who don't think band offers any form of exercise, let me introduce you to marching band. Throughout the summer and fall and often throughout the spring as well, you work your butt off – often literally. Summer band camp lasts up to eight hours a day: four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. You're not just playing you're instrument, you're doing drills and calisthenics, learning new routines, and marching everywhere. Even if you don't play a particularly heavy instrument, those horn angles will result in serious guns. During the school year, look forward to 2-3 hour practices in the evenings, 3-4 times a week. Oh, my friends, you will get fit!
6. Ride or Walk to School
If it's feasible, forget about your car. I know driving is awesome in high school and you want to do it as much as possible, but once you've turned 16, compromise. Keep your car parked a few days a week and walk or ride your bike to school instead – if it's within distance. Whatever your age, get your neighbors and friends to join you – because...
7. Workout with a Friend
Working out with a friend is always fun. You help keep each other motivated, plus you still have quality time together. You know, you can gossip, discuss your latest love interests, bitch about your teachers, and do cardio, all at the same time! You'll keep each other grounded as well, and when you're figuring out how to stay fit in school, that's important. It's far too easy to get obsessed, especially between the ages of 13-21.
8. Stay Hydrated
Last but most certainly not least, drink water! Drink it all day! Most school policies now allow for that, and individual teachers are generally cool about it. You'll feel better, your body will feel better, and it helps when you do get around to exercising. Besides, sometimes drinking water is the most interesting thing you'll do in a particular class. Yes, that's sad, but at least you can make the most of it!
Learning how to stay fit in school isn't exactly hard, but it requires a lot of self-discipline. You'll have to put in the time and effort necessary to stay fit and healthy. However, once you start doing those things, not only do they come naturally, but they also increase your energy, so you wind up feeling better than you did when you started. How do you go about staying fit in school?
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