Weighing In: Be a Kid Again

Each week, our own fitness fanatics Leah Polakoff and Caitlyn Kronket will explore the latest workout crazes, diet fads and dish out tips for healthy living. Managing your schoolwork is tough enough- let us take care of your health.

BrittanyTrappe_WeighingInWhen you were a kid, do you remember wanting to grow up as quickly as possible? Now that we’re all grown up (well, sort of), we often miss everything that being a kid entails. How awesome would it be if we could incorporate recess and nap time into our everyday schedules? It just so happens, taking time to act like a kid again can be great for your health.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Work hard, play hard.” For this week’s Weighing In, we’re changing that to, “Play hard equals hard work.” Taking time everyday to run around, jump some rope or even play hopscotch can burn some serious calories. Who said working out has to be boring?

Between classes, make time for recess. According to Let’s Move!, a program created by Michelle Obama to create a healthier generation of kids, children should get 60 minutes of exercise each day. While the average college student spends 106 minutes on Facebook each day, taking 60 of those minutes to play shouldn’t be a problem.

Grab some friends and get a game of pick-up basketball going in Pollock Quad, or go play on the swing sets at Sunset Park. If you would’ve done it at recess in elementary school, find a place to go do it here.

While recess was always a highly anticipated part of every kid’s day, lunch was everybody’s favorite class (and yes, it definitely counted as a class). It may have been years since you’ve had one of mom’s famous PB&Js, but there are tons of ways to spice up a plain peanut butter and jelly sandwich to make it college appropriate.

For starters, swap out white bread for 100 percent whole wheat. Whole grains are always a better choice over simple, processed carbohydrates. They take longer to digest which means you’ll be fuller for a longer time.

Second, check the jelly you’re using. If your jar of jelly has dancing grapes on the label, chances are it has tons of added sugar inside the bottle. Try using an all-natural or low-sugar fruit spread instead. Real fruit chunks mixed in with peanut butter are absolutely delish (then again, anything with peanut butter is delicious).

Speaking of fruit, cutting up banana slices or adding dried fruit to a PB&J are great ways to get one of your three servings of fruit a day. If you’ve ever had one of the peanut butter and fruit wraps from Redifer, you know what I’m talking about.

And of course to wash down that sandwich, childhood you is dying for some chocolate milk. Well, keep drinking it! Many college-aged students suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to depression and weak bones. Follow mom’s advice and aim for at least two glasses of milk a day. And with fresh milk from the Creamery available everywhere on campus, how can you resist?

And do you want another added bonus of chocolate milk? It’s a great recovery drink after a hard workout. According to WebMD.com, drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a workout helps endurance, builds muscle and seems to improve performance.

Another way to improve your performance is to sleep! Your body’s cells repair themselves when they are at rest, so if you’ve had a long day or just had a great run, treat yourself to nap time. Better yet, try to get as much sleep as possible. Technically, our bodies are still growing (do they ever really stop?), so aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night. If only nap time was a class…

Children are the happiest people you’ll ever meet. They have no worries and smiles on their faces at all times– so why not mimic them? So go ahead, play hard! It’s actually good for your health.

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