Back to School, Back to Fitness
Joella Hopkins is the Vice President of Group Fitness at EōS Fitness, which has 9 high value, low price gyms and counting in Southern California, including San Diego. She has over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry.
Don’t allow yourself to get in a rut!
Summer is officially over and the kids are back in school. Schedules for everyone drastically change at this time of year – for both kids and parents! It’s easy to put your own workout on the back burner when everybody else seems to need you and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. If you don’t make your fitness routine a priority right out of the gate, you may find yourself stuck in a rut that’s hard to get out of.
Good intentions are not good enough.
From working your full-time job or running to after-school practices, games, and events – it’s easy for the day to get away from you without getting your workout in! It’s an endless cycle because when you don’t exercise, you have less energy – which makes it tough to feel motivated. Even the best intentions to work out in the evening can be derailed at the end of the day when you’re exhausted. What’s a parent to do?
Tips to stay motivated when you’re a busy parent:
1. Create a Schedule – and stick to it!
You are more likely to succeed when you schedule your workout time (just like you would your kid’s soccer practice). This is an appointment that you do not cancel; it goes on your calendar and becomes a non-negotiable. This is “you” time – time to take care of yourself so you will be a better parent, spouse, employee, and friend. It’s not just about your physical health – it’s about your mental health as well. You will be more patient with people, happier throughout your day and have more energy for family time.
2. Get an early morning start to your day
Make your first decision in the morning a healthy one by setting your alarm early enough to get a 30-45 minute workout in. Switching to this schedule sets you up for good, positive decisions the rest of the day! Just like any habit, it will only take a few short weeks to get into your groove. In no time you’ll be rocking a fitter, happier lifestyle and actually look forward to your morning workouts!
3. Prep food on the weekend
It only takes a couple of hours on a weekend to prep some healthy choices for the week. Cook chicken breast or lean meats for dinner or dice it up on top of salads. Grill salmon and veggies that you can pack for lunch and reheat at the office so you’re not tempted to go out to eat and make poor choices. Boil eggs for a breakfast on the go or a great mid-day snack. Keep plenty of fruits, raw veggies, and heathy nuts on hand for snacks when you get hungry between meals.
Your workouts don’t have to be long to be effective.
There is good news! Studies have proven that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get quality exercise. Even a quick workout before school will put you in a better mood and make your day more productive! Keep it fresh and fun so that you don’t dread your workouts. The best advice I can give people is to cross-train. Practice different things so your mind doesn’t get bored. Take a kickboxing or dance class, try strength-training with weights, practice yoga, or just go for a brisk walk! Fitness is not a specific formula – do what you enjoy and you will stick with it!