Back to School Fitness

September is that magical time of year when everything goes from lazy to crazy. The kids go back to school and new routines get developed…bedtimes, homework, and various organised activities are all added to your schedule. So how do you fit your own exercise regime into it all? Here are a few ideas to help the grown-ups out:

1. Decide what time of day works the best for you. Morning, noon or night? Assess your energy levels through the day and figure out when you have the most time and energy to spare. There is no ‘best time’ to exercise as each has advantages: Mornings get it over and done with, lunch hour is often clear on the parental schedule so a great time to fit in a work out, and evenings after the kids go to bed works well for others. If you can find a time that works, that is your perfect time!

2. Get the whole family on board. Discuss as a family the different activities that each family member can do to help set good examples for each other. Coaching or helping out with your child’s activities is one great way to get your heart beating.

3. Plan exercise around your family’s schedule. If you are signing your kids up for an activity such as dance or hockey, use this time to go to the gym or do some sort of physical activity for yourself. Regular planned exercise is the easiest way to keep exercising!

4. Sign up for sessions with a trainer. If you have trouble motivating yourself, get some help with motivation by seeing a trainer. You can use them to be accountable to your exercise as well as learn new routines that will suit your body’s needs.

5. Set some goals. Make goals for the next school holiday that are attainable. Start by giving yourself an assessment: see how long you can comfortably do cardio for (jog, bike, elliptical etc), how many half sit ups, squats, and push ups you can do in one minute. Make sure you do not experience any discomfort during exercise. Write them down and then re-check your scores at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

6. Remember that even small bouts of exercise are helpful. If you are having a tough time getting to the gym, add energetic bursts between chores: do some sit ups or push ups, walk your kids to school, add in lunges when you can, suck in your bellybutton whenever you think of it, or go for a quick walk/jog around the block. The more you move, the easier it gets!

7. Revive good fitness habits. Just like remembering your best studying techniques, remember what worked for you in the past, revive this idea and enjoy the benefits!

Hopefully some of these ideas will help you get an A in your back to school fitness regime. Don’t forget that ski season is just around the corner and every year the kids get a bit faster and harder to keep up with!