Thursday, August 11, 2011

Prescription for Recess

I’m turning 25 in a month. Although I’m not going through the quarter life crisis I thought I would be by now, I’ve definitely been reflecting a lot on my past 25 years. I was thinking that the daily schedule my parents and school kept me on in elementary school was probably the healthiest daily schedule I have ever had. What other schedule beats recess, breakfast, lots of sleep, snack time, nap time and gym class! A daily healthy routine is half the battle, so treat yourself to a couple throwbacks every day to keep yourself on track.

Give Yourself a Prescription for Recess – Just because there aren’t swing sets or kick balls outside your office doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a recess. In fact, your brain cannot work for hours on end. It needs time to rest every couple of hours in order to be effective over the course of a day. Always take 15 - 20 minutes midday to go outside and clear your mind. Make a fun playlist or go for a walk with a friend. It will make you more productive in the long run.
Gym Class – OK, I’ll admit I was not a fan of gym class. I would “forget” to bring clothes and sit on the sidelines as much as possible. But gym class was meant to let us run off steam we’d built up throughout the day and get our blood racing and hearts pumping. That’s why it’s so important for us as adults to run around for at least 20 minutes a day to let off any stress. Even do a “Phoebe Run” outside and laugh a little while you’re at it.

"Phoebe Run"
Drink Lots of Water – In addition to snack time, your parents, coaches and teachers also made sure you were drinking enough fluids. Drinking water is so important because it keeps you hydrated and keeps your appetite in check.

Eat Breakfast & Schedule Snick Snacks – Miss the energy you had when you were a kid? Starting to eat a solid breakfast every morning (high in protein, low is sugar) will significantly improve your energy all day. And don’t forget to schedule snack time! It’s hard to make it from lunch to dinner without a snick snack - so to curb cravings and late night binging, schedule an afternoon snack time for yourself.
Set A Bed Time & Take A Nap – Your parents made sure you got a decent amount of sleep every night. And they let you take naps when you were crashing. Getting a decent amount (6-8 hours) of sleep every night is critical to how your day will be because you need a complete sleep cycle to balance your body and prepare it for the next day. Not getting enough sleep can make you crave sugars to gain the energy you lost not sleeping. And when you haven’t been taking care of yourself? Give yourself a weekend napfest to crash and recover.

Make Time for Fun & Games – It was so easy to forget all about schoolwork once you got outside to play with your friends. Now it seems like work email follows you everywhere. Make it a point to ditch the iPhone once in a while and truly engage yourself with friends or outdoors. It’s important to keep things light and silly in the midst of a crazy world.

- Stephanie

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