I’m tired. I can’t study; I didn’t sleep last night. I can hardly keep my eyes open, let alone focus.
I am guilty of saying these exact things to my parents. Okay, let’s be honest. When you’re a high school homeschool teen, homework may be the only language you speak.
You are probably sitting every day by your computer or table with loads of paper, pens, assignments, essays and maybe an overwhelmed head. You may even be shocked to notice that you dream of test time in your sleep! Could how you treat your body have anything to do with how you are feeling?
It’s been scientifically proven that a healthy body creates a healthy mind. And we all know a healthy mind can and will produce good grades. The two go hand in hand. Now despite this knowledge, trying to stay physically active is a challenge.
As a homeschooled teenager, I myself sometimes am glued to my computer screen until I lose track of time. Important as education is, we need to set boundaries so we don’t find ourselves not having enough energy to work or study.
I know many of you may not find the idea of breaking between Math and English to go and do laps very appealing, and that’s OK! You don’t have to be Rocky Balboa to be healthy and happy. Here are just a few small ways to keep your energy up:
1. Stop, Stand and Stretch!
Stop every half hour or so and do some stretches. This is a great way to keep your blood circulating and break the tedious routine. I usually stop after my first three lessons in the morning and take a mat out to do some stretches.
It also relieves that office slouch some may have. I find that once I return to my work, I’m much more alert and focused. Try it and don’t fall asleep on the mat!
This is a great way to start your healthy lifestyle.
2. Eat Healthy.
I don’t mean to guzzle down a raw egg shake in the morning (unless you’re into that!). However, it can’t hurt to add some greens to that juicy steak burger you’re having. Or get into the habit of eating at least one serving of fruit a day.
This will not only improve your brain, but also your body, energy, and sleep. And I think we all need some help with the last one! What are some of your ideas for a tasty, healthy treat?
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast.
Why is it, growing up, we learn from Sesame Street all about how important a healthy breakfast is, but we fail to keep the habit once we’re older?
The old saying is true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It supplies your body with key nutrients you need. If you’re not a big breakfast eater, try something simple like toast and butter, or a bowl of oatmeal.
You may not notice it right away, but eventually it’ll become a habit you won’t want to stop.
4. Get Outside.
A few minutes outside can only benefit you. Besides, with all the information we’re taking into our brains, we deserve some fresh air to clear our minds. Have your lunch break outside in the sun, or do your reading on the patio.
Just because we’re homeschool teens doesn’t mean we’re confined to the home. Homeschool has some freedom to it too, so enjoy it! You’ll enjoy changing the atmosphere a bit and perhaps even gain some inspiration from God’s garden.
5. Get Active!
As children we had no problem balancing school and play. Why can’t we now?
There’s no rule against going for a bike ride after school, or shoveling the porch when it’s full of snow. Work with what you’ve got. You’ll gain muscle strength as well; who wouldn’t want that?
Yes, it is important to work. However, everybody needs some time to goof off to break the cycle.
6. Exercise Moderately.
For those of you who do enjoy a good sweaty workout to burn stress and calories, I must add: do it moderately.
Never overdo a workout, or you could end up becoming further behind in school, due to pain from hurt muscles. Lifting weights, doing a few sit-ups, or running on the treadmill can easily fit between subjects or after, but take it easy.
Remember, you’re not training for the Olympics!
7. Set Priorities.
Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is to set goals and stick to them. You have a schedule for your classes; you can make one for your healthy habits too.
Set times you’d like to get some exercise in, or have a certain hour you’d like to spend outside.
Set a schedule and share it with your family. That way everyone will know when to let you jog or read outside in peace. When you’re a teenager, privacy really helps, right?
Being a young adult means you’re responsible for your time and body. Don’t slack off on school just to do some push-ups. That won’t help. Set your priorities and keep them. I think this Scripture fits perfectly for what I’m trying to say:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Holy Spirit lives in you. God has designed your body to be healthy and strong. Always pray to God for strength; He loves to give it freely. Remember, you’re blessed to be in an atmosphere where you can do this.
These tips are only the beginning. Write a few of your own down and discuss them with your parents. See which work and which don’t.
Stay healthy and active, and you’ll never regret it.
What kinds of physical activities do you and your family do?
Tired Student photo © Jale Ibrak / Dollar Photo Club