You are about to go back to school and learn a lot of important things” “and probably some things you will never use again. But here on the blog we have been talking about something that definitely applies to the real world: health. Here’s everything you need to know about health for cheerleaders: When it comes to health and nutrition for cheerleaders, the first topic has to be body image. Athletes in general are prone to body image issues because of their perfectionist tendencies, but cheerleading emphasizes appearance more than other sports. We are all human, and it’s unlikely that you’ll never struggle with body image again. But it’s a shame to waste even a minute of your life being unhappy with a perfectly healthy body, so consider these five things to help you overcome negative thoughts and appreciate your healthy body. We tend to focus a lot of our attention on eating the right foods to maintain a healthy diet, but what if that’s only part of the battle? Research has shown that eating at the proper time of day is essential to getting the proper nutrients from the foods you’re eating. Now that you know when to eat, you need to know what to eat. Cheerleaders need to fuel themselves with highly nutritious food in order to perform at their best. Putting together a healthy eating plan is easy if you focus on choosing” “and avoiding!” “the right foods. You already know better than to skip breakfast, right? If you are a breakfast skipper, stop! Not eating breakfast at the proper time, or at all, is a huge contributor to weight gain and other health problems. After a full night’s sleep, our bodies have been deprived of nutrients for a significant amount of time. To begin a focused and productive day, we need to eat a proper meal within an hour of waking up. If you don’t have much of an appetite in the morning, we have some lighter breakfast ideas that will still give you the nutrients you need to start a healthy day. Female athletes tend to skip weight lifting and other strength-training workouts for fear that they will bulk up. That is not the case. In fact, doing these four exercises will turn you into a lean, mean cheering machine. The best part is you can do them at home in front of the TV if you want!