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I can’t believe it’s back-to-school time already! Where did the summer go?

Luckily, we have one more long holiday weekend before it’s time to park your carcass in the classroom and study, study, study. School is a good time to grow your brain.

While getting an education is very important, don’t let school keep you from playing outside. Humans need exposure to the sun. It’s good for our health, producing vitamin D which helps keep bones strong. Playing outside is also a great way to get exercise and fresh air, which can help keep you happy and healthy.

So for the long Labor Day weekend try and talk your parents into going on a hike, taking you camping, fishing or walk or bike to the park to hang off the playground equipment. During the school year you can walk or bike to school with your friends or parents to get some exercise. Organized sports like soccer or basketball are other ways to get a good workout.

By getting exercise, sunshine and fresh air you will be more tired when it’s bedtime. That’s good because it’s important to get about nine to 11 hours of sleep every night to keep your brain and body healthy. When you are sleeping your brain is very active doing things it can’t when you are awake. So sleep is good, plus you get to have flying dreams.

It’s hard to believe but when you were a baby you may have slept 14 to 17 hours a day. There are only 24 hours in a day, so you weren’t awake very much, but you sure were growing and learning quickly.

Now it’s time to learn things at school, but that doesn’t mean playing outdoors has to end. Try to stay active and you will be a fit and cheerful student. Good luck.

— Brett French, french@billingsgazette.com

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