Back to School Health Hacks.

Easy Back-To-School Health Hacks

There are a million and one things to think about as we approach the new school year, so it is my goal to give you a couple easy steps to get your kids off on the right track.

Backpacks:

  1. Fit the pack to you child. You don’t want to buy the biggest pack you can find as we need to think about weight. Find a pack that fits their torso, no wider than their mid back area and one that does not fall below their waist.
  2. The filled pack should not weigh more than 15% of your child’s total body weight. 100lb. child, 15lb. pack.
  3. The shoulder straps should be padded, and a waist strap can help to distribute the weight between the shoulders and the hips. A chest strap can help keep the straps positioned properly but is not as important as the hip strap.
  4. Pack, larger/heavier items close to the back and work out. Load external pockets evenly.
  5. GET YOUR FREE POSTURE SCREEN MOBILE POSTURE CHECK AT OUR OFFICE!

Posture: Just like an ill-fitting backpack can negatively affect posture, so can hours sitting in class, working on computers, cell phones and doing homework.

  1. While kids are discouraged from getting up and walking around the classroom when the teacher is speaking, movement is important for focus, pain relief and the health of our joints. Getting up at least once every hour to move/stretch and increase the amount of time your child will be productive and will reduce strain on their joints.
  2. Most classrooms are not set up with ergonomics in mind. Unless your child is dealing with some spinal issues this will be a hard place to make changes, but if your child does experience some back or neck pain while at school certainly speak up and see what accommodations can be made.
  3. The biggest problem we see with posture is a forward shift of the head. With the increase in gaming, cell phones and computers we spend way more time in forward head posture. This can cause some changes that can become permanent. Work with your child to find better postures that take stress off their neck and spine. We can also review some exercises with you and your child that can help.

Lunch/Snacks: There are a million and one opinions on this and there is some good and some not so good info on the internet for this but I want to give you some “food” for thought when it comes to nutrition and energy/focus. Watch our video on meal and snack hacks!

  1. The number one sapper of energy is blood sugar swings. High carbs breakfast, snacks and lunch cause a blood sugar/insulin battle that will lead to fatigue and loss of focus.
  2. Adding foods with fat, protein (nuts, cheese, meats) and low carbs will not only last longer as an energy source, but it will also reduce blood sugar swings.
  3. While it may be a tough transition for some kids this these are important changes that can have a major impact on the health of your children for their lifetime.
  4. Involve your kids in the process and guide them to make the right choices.
  5. Some basic suggestions:
    1. Try to move away from grains, but if necessary stick with whole grains. I like Joseph’s wraps for a good low carb option to bread
    2. Fruit: Berries, apples.
    3. Vegetables, adding some health ranch dressing or healthy peanut butter and celery will make this more palatable for your kids.
    4. H2O, stay away from fruit juices as they contain high amounts of sugar/fructose.
    5. Meats, eggs, nuts and cheeses can be a compact snack

Movement: This is what we do!

  1. Kick your kid out of the house! My kids are all adults now, but it is my observation that class time had increased while recess time had declined. Then our kids come home and do homework and play videos games or look at funny memes on Instagram.
  2. If you are struggling with finding activities for your children look for exercise classes at your local gym. Obviously, this will be age dependent. Get your kids involved in a sport and think outside the box. Tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, basketball, cricket…There is something for everyone.

Last, but not least, we are a health resource for you and your family. If you would like to set up a quick wellness check for your kids or just have some questions and need a little guidance, we are here for you. Give us a call 978-927-8466 anytime, were are here to help.

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