Back to school is a great time to practice these performance habits!
It’s that time of year again! Back to School – an exciting and busy time for the whole family. We say goodbye to the carefree summer and get ready to double down on studying, extra-curricular activities and sports. To make the adjustment easier and to ensure the students in you life are successful right off the bat. These tips are based on effective strategies that world-class athletes use to achieve top performance.
Back to School Tip: Limit Screen Time
Screen time later in the day disturbs our sleep patterns, and the blue light that’s emitted by electronics is very stimulating. Children and adolescents who spend their evenings in front of a screen have poorer sleep than those who read or spend time being active or outdoors.
Back to School Tip: Get Enough Sleep
Sleep helps our bodies regulate brain activity, memory, focus and physical recovery. Our bodies and brains experience a lot of wear and tear during the day – sleep helps repair the minor damage done, and is also associated with better memory and information recall. Ensure you are getting the healthy 8 hours of sleep (or more, for younger children) by going to bed early and optimizing your sleeping arrangements. This means no screens before bed, and keeping your bedroom cool and dark.
Back to School Tip: Mind Your Diet
Diet is extremely important for good performance. Limit added sugars and make sure snacks and meals are balanced, with lots of lean protein and fruit and veg. Stay away from juices, punches or sports drinks – these have a lot of added sugars. Juices also lack the fiber that fresh fruits have, but are full of sugars. Eat complex carbs like whole wheat pasta and toast and brown rice.
Back to School Tip: Stay Hydrated
Keep a water bottle handy and use it often – dehydration is bad for focus. Drinking enough is especially important when being physically active and on hot days.
Back to School Tip: Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety get in the way of performance and can even contribute to injury. Find coping strategies that work for you – go for a walk, hang out with friends, cook a healthy meal, call a family member, curl up with your favourite book or podcast, or spend some quality time with your loved ones. Avoid managing stress with sugary foods or alcohol. Deadlines and workloads will pass but your healthy coping strategies are here to stay.