Utica, NY (WIBX) - Although many are reluctant to face it...another school year is quickly approaching.

Kids and parents are getting ready to adjust their daily summer routines for more hectic morning starts. From preparing school lunches, to making sure youngsters have all they need to start their day. Health and fitness expert Denise Austin says organization is key.

"Let's get organized as Mom's and make sure that our kids have a good breakfast in the morning. Start them off right. Good nutrition really kicks their day in so they have energy, they feel good and there are so many studies that show that they think better and they learn a little quicker," Austin said. Austin, whose well known for her healthy life style and workout videos, has partnered with Rite-Aid and Nature Made Vitamins to provide useful tips for parents.

She says adding a multivitamin into the mix can help boost your child immunity and productivity in school. "We need to get our nutrients from food, but we're all not perfect. So, what I do is I take a multivitamin every single day and I make my kids do too because that way I know they're kind of taking care of the gaps," she said. She says sometimes lunches can become mundane and boring but by providing a variety of food options can expand your child's taste buds while helping them maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Austin said, "Make sure they have peanut butter and whole wheat toast. Make sure that they have a good sandwich that has--I pack it in their with some cucumbers, you know I try to do some veggies inside their sandwiches, like a little spinach leave, just touches of things so they'll eat it and get in a few veggies." She says even Arugala salad may go over well. Also, she suggest parents gradually phase in other options such as trading the typical bag of chips with an apple or a bag of carrots.

Although parents still face challenges when it comes to school lunches, Rite-Aid Pharmacist, Sarah Matunis, says keeping a food diary could help. "It's cumbersome to do but it also lets you know what your child is actually eating, and you may recognize that they're running out the door and they're never drinking any milk throughout the day. So, they're going to be deficient in calcium so that's really important that kids get their calcium young because that's when they build bones and it's also important to involve your kids in the process." She says by taking children grocery shopping, parents can allow them to pick out the fruits and vegestables they actually will eat at school. One example she shared is to take them to an apple orchard so they can pick fruit directly from a tree. Also, she says it's equally beneficial for parents to plant trees as a family as it also contributes to a healthy life style.

Through her partnership with Rite Aid Denise Austin provided the following lifestyle tips for individuals and families looking to start the new school year off on the right foot:

Start With the Daily Dozen

  • Working out is a big commitment. So start small. Begin with exercising just twelve minutes a day. This will get you on the right track and soon exercise will become a healthy habit.

30-Minute Fitness Strategy

  • Once you get used to the daily dozen, try increasing your routine to a half hour. A good formula to follow is 20 minutes of cardio, 5 minutes of weight training and 5 minutes of stretching, leg lifts and/or sit ups. To keep it interesting, mix up your workouts each day.

Stretch Three Times a Day

  • Stretching reduces stress by letting you take time out for yourself. It also improves your posture, lengthens your muscles and improves your strength, energy, and circulation.

Boost Your Metabolism

  • Did you know that while you build muscle you are also boosting your metabolism? For each pound of fat you replace with muscle, you burn another 35-50 calories a day. So work out and burn up.

Keep it Steady

  • In order to keep your metabolism steady, try to always eat three small meals and two healthy snacks per day – every 3-4 hours. This will prevent your blood sugar levels from dipping, which can lead to overeating.

Nutrition Insurance

  • While we strive to get all the nutrients we need from food, that is not always possible. A good supplement regimen typically includes a multivitamin and adds supplements, for example vitamin C, fish oil, calcium and vitamin D, to address nutrients we may be missing. Ask your Rite Aid Pharmacist which supplements are right for you.

A Healthier You Equals a Happier Family

  • Working out takes time, but it is time well spent. The benefits of your newfound energy and positive attitude will certainly be something your family enjoys as much as you do.

Find Joy in Your Workout

  • Try listening to your favorite music, getting outdoors for a hike, or spending time with a friend. Enjoying your workout is a great way to stay on track.

Stay Positive

  • Exercise can give you a positive outlook. Not only will getting fit help you look and feel better, but it can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Don't be your own worst critic – be proud of yourself for getting out there and working out.

Keep it Fresh

  • If you find yourself bored with a routine, try something new. Challenge yourself with various fitness options such as yoga, pilates, biking, swimming, hiking, boot-camp, and dance.

Exercise Tips


Squat – Shape your hips, thighs, and buttocks. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your abs tightened. Lift your arms above your head, keep your back straight and sit way back as if you were sitting in a chair. Repeat for 12-24 reps.







Double Arm Row – Improve your posture by strengthening your spine and upper back. Stand with your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at your waist, keeping your abs tight. With a dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms so they are angled directly over your knees. If you do not have dumbbells you can use two bottled waters.






Low Hover – Tones your entire abdominal area. Lie on your belly. Place your elbows on the floor and hold your hands together so your arms form a triangle. Tighten your abs and rise to the hover position as shown. Hold this pose up to thirty seconds. Rest and repeat. Then, lift the weights bringing your elbows behind your body. Repeat 12-24 times. We recommend you visit your health care provider before commencing any weight loss or exercise program.




Lower Abdominal Strengthener – Tone your lower abdominal area. Lie with your back on the floor and place your hands at your sides. Squeeze a towel between your knees and lift your legs, as show. Pull your knees into your chest while lifting your buttocks off the floor. Really focus on tightening your abs. Lower your legs back to the starting position. Repeat 12-24 times.




Superman – Strengthen your back and lengthen your spine. Lie on your belly with your arms and legs fully extended. Tighten your abs. Lengthen through your legs and arms by extending as far as possible. Point your toes and fingers as you reach. Squeeze your buttocks to prevent your lower back from arching. Hold for 3 to 6 seconds. Relax and repeat up to 6 times.



Lower Body Stretch – Stretch your legs and buttocks. Lie on your back and lift one leg in front of the other as shown. Place your arm underneath your knee and gently pull it toward your chest. Hold about twenty to thirty seconds and repeat on the other side.





Upper Body Stretch – Relieve stress with this relaxing stretch. Lower your arm to your outer thigh. Reach up and over with the opposite arm while looking toward the ceiling as shown. You will feel a deep stretch all the way up your side. Hold for twenty to thirty seconds. Repeat on the other side.




For more information about Rite Aid Pharmacy campaign with Denise Austin visit, http://www5.riteaid.com/health/weight/denise-austin-fitness.