A new school year offers new beginnings. Long days at school add extra challenges to maintaining an exercise regiment and nutritious diet. Brooke Harrison ‘19, who ran her first marathon with the Dreamfar team last year, shares her advice and tips for staying fit in the upcoming months. Brooke currently spends her time working at a children’s physical training program while also maintaining the front desk of a local gym.. She eagerly agreed to pass on her pointers for managing a healthy lifestyle, as well as explain her latest endeavor: the Dreamfar training program that will come to Montrose this school year.
A healthy, nutritious diet is one of the most important aspects to staying fit. Superfoods, such as quinoa, almonds, eggs, and flax seeds, provide an alternative snack choice. Brooke shared that she “loves to munch on any fruit, especially grapes!” When it comes to a quick protein fix, “chia seeds” are her food of choice. It is also incredibly important to stay hydrated during the school day. Keep a full water bottle in your backpack, and make it a point to drink at least the whole bottle – if not more – by the end of the day. On race days, Brooke encourages that each person “hydrate several days in advance.” Also, don’t forget to stop at the water stations! And when it comes to healthy lunch options, consider “protein, a vegetable, and a carb of some sort.”
The next step to an active lifestyle is physical exercise. There are so many different workout options. Visit your local gym and explore the equipment or check out fitness classes in your area. There are also many online training programs if you are interested in an at-home alternative. If you are looking to try something unique, Brooke suggests “boxing – it’s fun and an amazing stress reliever!” Dreamfar is another great way for high schoolers to engage in a physical activity after school. It is a program for students designed to “challenge students of all abilities and backgrounds to accomplish something exceptional: train for and run a marathon!” This program began Brooke’s marathon experience last year, and now she is a student leader for the Dreamfar team at Montrose this year. If you are interested in Dreamfar, more information will be available at the Activities Fair on September 27.
Motivation is key to setting goals and creating good habits. Prepare your gym bag the night before so you can’t make any excuses and to ensure that you have all the necessities. What is in Brooke’s workout bag? “I keep my Beats (headphones), a change of clothes, makeup wipes, protein powder, and my workout schedule in my gym bag.” It can be difficult to persuade yourself to get to the gym or make it through a difficult session, so an invigorating playlist is key! Pick the songs you love, or ask friends for their favorites. “Game Girl by Young and Divine, Nothing Personal by Dinosaur Pile-Up, Wreak Havoc by Skylar Grey, and Flawless by Beyonce,” always get Brooke’s blood pumping! I suggest creating a new playlist for your workout each month. It’s always a good idea to switch things up. Brooke’s final advice to a fitness “newbie” is “don’t expect to see immediate results. Change is gradual, and with hard work and dedication you’ll see it.” Everyone can achieve a healthy lifestyle during the school months. Focus on setting small goals for yourself; the commitment will pay off in the long run.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!