Healthy Heart Tip: Back to School in a heart beat
Many pupils in Scotland will soon be heading back to school, with some teachers back in the classroom as early as today! Schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are not that far behind. You might want to bury your head in the summer sand a little longer, but this is a time of new beginnings – a good sleep, a nutritious breakfast and an active day is just what we all need to feel top of the class.
Follow our tips on how to get the school year off to a healthy start:
- Snooze you lose
Breakfast really is important for growing children and for overall heart health. Studies have found that children who miss out on that first meal of the day between the hours of 6am and 9am fall short of essential minerals and vitamins over the whole day. Get your children into good routines, starting with a good breakfast.
- Cash in the bus fare
With less than one in four children meeting the guidelines of 60 active minutes each day, be the family that breaks the mould and start a walking bus. Walking is the healthiest and most reliable way of making sure your child gets to school on time – and if you join them it benefits you too. Start a family saving jar for those unspent bus fares and watch the pennies pile up.
- Join the team
Studies suggest that there are long lasting health and social benefits to children who are actively involved in sport. What seems to be important is that children develop a sense of ‘habit’ when it comes to being active. Check out the sports clubs available at school and encourage your child to sign up early so they have a whole term or school year to reap the benefits.
- Switch off
Good quality sleep for 9-11 hours is fundamental for the health and development of school-aged children and may help reduce risks of heart disease later in life. Help your child get a good night’s kip by creating a sleep friendly bedroom – put a curfew on social media, mobile use and TV viewing and black out standby light to allow your child to truly switch off and power up.
After a lovely few weeks of summer the thought of going back to school can be overwhelming, but you can help turn this into a welcome start to good routines. Set good habits early, and start planning for a healthier, happier school year ahead.