By Blake Beckcom
As summer begins to wind down, so do the days with no routines or schedules. As you start to get your kids into their back-to-school routines, you should also think about getting back into your regular fitness routine.
Face it — summer break probably left you with little time during the day to schedule a trip to the gym. Your kids going back to school gives you the perfect opportunity to get back into a fitness routine, and planning a consistent time of day can help you stay on track.
If you don’t have to run to the office immediately after dropping off the kids, try to fit in a workout before your day gets busy with errands and meetings. You’ll feel energized, and it offers a great chance to take a little time for yourself.
If mornings aren’t available, schedule a regular workout routine in the afternoon just before picking your kids up from school. This will help you get a little afternoon pep and have you ready to keep up with your energetic kids. Plus, you’ll have plenty of gas to run them to their after-school activities.
If you can’t find time to workout during the day, try to get up early and exercise. This is an excellent way to grab a few minutes by yourself and gear up for the hectic day. You’ll feel ready to take on the morning hustle as well as the rest of the day without interruption.
Getting the kids back in school and everyone back on a schedule is great, but it can sabotage your workout if you are not careful. You’ve worked so hard this year to get in shape and get your body the way you wanted. However, when end of summer’s hectic schedule changes things; it is easy to lose motivation to workout. Here are a few things you can do help you stay motivated to workout over the summer.
Plan, plan, plan
If you just say you are going to workout — chances are you won’t. However, if you plan a consistent time to workout and add it to your calendar and set reminders, the odds of you working out are much greater. You’ll have better results with a regular routine.
Take your workout outside
It is still summer weather, get outside and enjoy the beauty of it. If you are getting stuck on going inside to the gym, try taking your workout outside. Talk to your personal trainer to get exercises that are easily adaptable to outdoors.
If you have a goal, you’ll be more motivated to succeed. Try setting small weekly goals, as you carry out your goals, give yourself a little reward. As you meet each goal, you’ll want to complete the next week’s goal even more. You have several big holidays ahead: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Use those for time bounding to fit your goals within, so you will have a completion timeline.
Try cutting your workouts in half, but increase the intensity, thus shortening the time allotment, when your days get slammed. You will benefit from moving faster through your program, and get the mental boost of not missing a workout. If you exercise 60 minutes as a norm, try 30 minutes, or even 45. It is easier to schedule and offers fewer excuses. No matter how busy you get, 30 minutes is doable.
Get back into your routine
With vacation, family gatherings, and barbecues waning, the excitement of summer, and perhaps the drudgery of back to school and routines, offers up a lot of temptation to get lazy and indulge yourself. It is OK to an extent, but don’t settle for the excuse, and the notion that “I’ll get back to it next week.” Odds are you will not. It’s OK to have fun and cheat a little on your diet, but don’t let summer’s end and the return to routines rob your hard work.
—Blake Beckcom runs Fitness Together Mission Hills with his wife Gwen. Contact them at fitnesstogether.com/missionhills.