It’s back to school time which means goodbye to sleeping in and hello to a new daily routine. We all know that this puts a kink in our children’s schedule, but it can also take a toll on the whole family. It becomes a day full of getting to school and work on time, meal planning, and homework. Where does the time go?
With this new schedule, it is easy for a family to lose their fitness motivation momentum; before you know it is October and you are left wondering what happened to all the gains you accomplished during the summer.
We can help! Here are six tips for keeping health and nutrition into your new daily routine.
1. Pack a bag. No, not a getaway bag, although this bag can also help you leave all the stress behind. Pack a gym bag the night before and put it in your car. This will keep you from forgetting it in the morning when you are busy getting the kids dressed, fed and out the door. Also, you are more likely to go to the gym or exercise while you are already out without having to go home first and then go back out.
2. Set a goal. Go ahead and set a goal for yourself, then write it down. You are more likely to work towards your goal if you write it down and make it a priority. Post it in a public place in your house. Now the whole family knows what you are committed to do and can help you achieve this. Get everyone involved by setting up challenges such as who has had the most fitness days in a row or who can reach their goal first. Offer some sort of reward to the winner.
If you need help with achieving these goals, make an appointment with a personal trainer. They can inform and educate you on different ways to achieve your fitness goals.
3. Schedule your time. Going to the gym is your time. Schedule your time in a calendar or phone so that you have committed to yourself to go. Better yet…schedule the whole family where everyone gets to benefit from a healthy escape from the back to school stress. Try to stick to the same time every day to create consistency where it is part of your routine. If you can’t, that’s fine, try and fit it in when you can.
4. Go outside. Maybe getting to the gym isn’t fitting into your schedule between work and upcoming PTA meetings. Get outside and enjoy a walk. Walking is a great activity for the whole family and gets kids away from the computer and TV. So slip on some sneakers and aim for a brisk 20-30 minute walk.
5. Buy healthy foods. As you are walking the aisles at the grocery store stocking up for lunches and snacks, take the time to think about healthy options, including plenty of fruits and veggies, yogurt, protein, etc. Have fun with it! This will not only make you feel better about yourself, but will also provide fuel for the rest of your day.
6. Enjoy! The most important thing about fitness is to enjoy it. If you do not like to walk on the treadmill, don’t! Enjoy another piece of equipment or walk at the park. When you enjoy your activity, you are more likely to keep working towards your fitness goals and when your kids see you enjoying it, they will also.
Just because children are going back to school doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on your health and wellness goals. It is all about a lifestyle change! If it is important to you, don’t give up. Your health affects your whole life; work hard towards achieving a healthy, active lifestyle. It will all be worth it in the end!
This blog post was contributed by Samantha Sayers, personal trainer at HealthQuest Wellness and Fitness Center. HealthQuest, located in the Johnston Medical Mall, is a hospital-affiliated fitness and wellness center with medically based programs that will improve your health and your lifestyle. Find out more at www.johnstonhealth.org/healthquest or call 919-938-7581.