The reason gym memberships drop off in the summer is that, with the kids out of school, schedules get busier than ever. Plus, many people set the good intention of taking advantage of the nice weather and doing more outdoor activities. Whether you were successful in that endeavor or not, back-to-school is the perfect time to reset your workout schedule and get back into a routine. It’s good advice for anyone, whether you or your kids are headed back to school–or not!
Schedule in Your Workouts
Your schedule won’t magically ease up once school starts; it’s just that everything will shift. Get out a calendar or your day planner and block off time that’s already taken up by work, after school activities, housework, homework, etc. That will leave you with specific options for scheduling in workouts. Hopefully, there will be 20 to 60 minutes available at least 4 or 5 days a week, but even 10 minutes here and there will add up, so schedule them in. Shooting for 5 days will give you some flexibility in case you need to ditch a workout if something comes up. Some days your level of inactivity, i.e.: sitting and not moving around much, will mean you need more exercise than on others, just as some days you’ll be able to squeeze in a couple of brisk walks during break-time at work to put in the exercise bank. The bottom line to scheduling your workouts is that you’ll be more likely to stick with them and make sure they get done if they’re on your calendar.
Pick a Program–Or Three!
Back-to-school is the perfect time to change things up including starting a new workout program. Giving your body a new routine to learn prevents boredom and it could be the kick in the pants your metabolism needs to get off a plateau. Choose several different workouts because your body responds better to changing up your exercise than it does to routine. That strategy fits perfectly with the different amounts of time you’re likely to have for exercising throughout the week. For example, a HIIT resistance workout is perfect for those days when you might only have 15 to 20 minutes for exercise, but a yoga workout will be a nice change of pace on a day when you have 45 to 60 minutes available. Smaller chunks of time, anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes, can be spent biking, jogging, or on the elliptical. Whatever programs you choose, make sure they’re ones you enjoy doing. It’s way too easy to blow off a workout you’re not looking forward to.
Recruit the Family
Since daily routines change for the whole family when it’s time to go back to school, it’s also the perfect time to get everyone moving. Parents.com points out that exercise is a great–and healthy–way for families to spend time together. No, you don’t have to drag everyone to the weight room or a step aerobics class. Taking a bike ride, practicing a sport the kids are interested in (such as tennis or baseball) or even playing at the park are effective ways for families to exercise together because they’re appropriate for a variety of ages. Alternatively, if your kids are a bit older and are interested in something like tai chi, kickboxing, or resistance training with the TargitFit Trainer, plug in a workout DVD and learn to do it together right in the comfort and privacy of your family room.