What can the educational institution, with its share of cooties and hand sanitizers, crayons, crashes and crushes, teach us in terms of living the best lives that we can? Follow along, and put your own luscious lesson plan together, based on these tenets:
Recess. Get more sunshine. Even as days grow shorter and more brisk, it’s important to make the effort to get outside and absorb Vitamin D.
Extra credit: Wear a hat to protect your face from the elements. Lemonade should be freckled, not you.
Lunch. Eat your vegetables. With micronutrients aplenty, you can skip the multivitamins (or at least some of the necessity) with healthy, full-bodied flavor.
Extra Credit: Choose colorful, robust, in-season veggies for maximum nutritional value. Who knows? You might not be able to dance, but you can keep the beet.
Naptime. Naps aren’t just for the very young. Those late nights make you tired, and lethargy can hinder making the right , healthy decisions
Extra credit: Even 20 minutes of shut eye is enough to recharge those batteries. (And no, you don’t have to sleep on a floor mat.)
Gym: Unlike the days of old, when running laps in fashionably questionable gym shorts was the order of the day, playing and working out regularly burns fat and keeps those muscles toned.
Extra credit: See your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. It’s also a good excuse to compare his/her scale with yours at home.
Math. Keep track of what you’re eating with a reliable food journal. Free programs like fitday.com (or even your Hello Kitty pen and paper) keep you accountable.
Extra credit: Track how you feel to pinpoint possible trouble foods and food intolerances (Sore throat, itchy skin, and a runny nose are possible indicators).
Reading. Check the labels before you buy. Low fat and/or gluten free foods might up the sugar content. Never assume frozen fruits and vegetables don’t contain sugar and starch, unless you read and investigate for yourself.
Extra credit: Learn the other names for sugar. They usually end with the suffix –ose. You’re sweet enough without it.
History. Do you eat when bored? Put off exercise? Set yourself up for success by making new habits and hardwire your brain to the new routine. Even something as simple as putting on your gym shoes will change your mental mode from one of coming home from work to exercise.
Extra credit: It takes 21 days to make a habit, so start today. Like right now.
Science. No need for beakers here. Make sure to get ample amounts of dihydrogen oxide in your diet and beverages, and burn more O2 when you move to keep those Bunsen burners in good shape.
Extra credit: Feeling weak and tired? Consider adding a little NaCl to your dishes.
Music. Music makes us cry, builds us up, and soothes us, so put it to work for you to clean the cupboards, walk the dog, get on the bike, or even to decompress during stretching exercises.
Extra credit: Find your anthem and let it motivate you through the hardest part of workouts.
Show and Tell. Has your lifestyle been one of weight loss and health gain? Let your light shine for others. Just like the cute puppy you brought to class ages ago, your brilliant, healthy smile is enough to make people feel fuzzy inside.
Extra credit: Pay your lifestyle forward to friends. There’s nothing more rewarding than the shared benefits of health. Besides, you can have each other’s back during the rough moments, and laugh when your baggy pants fall down.