5 tips to maintain your fitness routine as kids return to school
As we plunge into the ‘back to school’ routine with our children, it can feel overwhelming to keep up with your workouts. Here are five tips to maintain your fitness routine while juggling the demands of family life:
- Set expectations
We’re often hard on ourselves, expecting too much and feeling defeated when we come up short. Set realistic expectations for your workout routine. A great way to do this is to look at a detailed calendar of your week – including work schedules, school drop-off/pick-up times, activity/sport schedules, etc. Plan your workouts in time slots that give you ample time and energy to complete. Instead of five days a week at 5:00am, you may find that three days a week at 6:00am is more realistic and achievable.
- Stagger your “new” lifestyle changes
Factoring in all of the life changes in this season, it can be helpful to stagger your family’s adjustments. The earlier wake-up time is a shock to our systems. I recommend giving yourself 1-2 weeks to get used to your new sleep schedule before taking on a new workout routine (or nutrition plan, extracurriculars, etc.). Managing one change at a time, supports sustainability.
- Give yourself easy wins
Start with bite-sized goals. Instead of planning to do a 60-minute workout, start with 30 minutes. This makes it easier to achieve and gives you the confidence to continue. Gradually increase the length of time as you see fit. This also applies to frequency. Starting with two or three workouts/week is less daunting than five days (and it promotes recovery days, which is essential).
- Focus on consistency
Life happens; meetings get cancelled, kids get sick, car problems arise. If something throws a wrench in your ability to work out that day, accept it and move on. Think “big picture” and focus on overall consistency instead of holding onto guilt for a missed workout.
- Find enjoyment
With a busy schedule and limited time to take care of yourself, it’s imperative to find a workout you enjoy. This could look like one-one-one personal training, a group class, meeting up with a friend, or a family workout/sport. The key is to be able to sustain your fitness routine, so having fun is a “must”!
Coach Jaime Duran