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5 healthy habits to embrace this school year

New classes, friendships, goals – the start of the school year brings plenty of possibilities. It’s also the perfect opportunity to start fresh with a positive routine centered around health and wellbeing. Here are our top ways to stay healthy and set yourself up for a successful school year.

Feed your body with nourishment

A powerful brain and body are fueled by powerful foods. While it’s easy to reach for the pizza and cookies, these unwholesome foods only offer short-termed satisfaction. “Eating the rainbow” with naturally colorful fruits and vegetables like blueberries, broccoli, red bell peppers that contain antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and many other nutrients can support students’ growth. This leads to better grades, memory, alertness and energy.

Pro-tip: Start your day with a solid breakfast (fruit, oatmeal, eggs are great go-to’s), aim for balance on your plate throughout the day and try to avoid snacking right before bed.

Find ways to move

Coming out of an active summer, it can be a shock to the body to sit in a classroom for the majority of the day. Studies suggest that regular physical activity supports students’ development by improving memory, concentration, and positive outlook. The outcome? Better performance in school. We can already see those A’s adding up!

Pro tip: Join a sport or health-focused club! Whether it’s soccer, track, or yoga, you can incorporate regular movement at the end of a long school day through these kinds of activities. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends and have fun outside of the books!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

With the hustle and bustle of classes, clubs, sports study sessions and everything in between, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. The body depends on water to prevent illness, increase energy levels and give your brainpower a boost. For students studying abroad, water is also the number one way to beat the infamous jetlag.

Pro tip: keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and aim to drink at least two liters each day. Plan to drink around your schedule, before or after each class, during sports practice, and throughout homework.

Make sleep #1

An all-nighter or to sleep? That is a tough question that high school students wrestle with on a regular basis, especially when the pressure is on during exams. While it’s tempting to choose more time in the books, you’ll be at your best with the right amount of rest, ideally 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

Pro-tip: create a sleep ritual that you look forward to. Choose a time that you’ll commit to sleeping and the activities you’d like to do leading up to it, whether that’s reading a favorite book, taking a bath, sipping tea or listening to calming music.

Practice gratitude

Studies show that people who regularly practice gratitude experience fewer physical aches and pains. Gratitude also increases happiness, reduces depression, improves self-esteem and helps you sleep better (see tip #4).

Pro-tip: take a moment each day either after you wake up or before you go to sleep to write down one thing you are grateful for. It only takes a minute, but the positive effects can last a lifetime.


At EF Academy, we promote positive wellbeing and give our students the tools they need to take care of their mind and body so they are set up for success.

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