Summer draws to a close and school is right around the corner for many children and parents. In one sense, it’s a relief. The kids will be in school and there will be quiet around the house again.
But we all know it’s not that easy. With the school year comes the added stress of homework, extracurricular activities, waking up early, and carpooling.
Here are seven ways to maintain your fitness and your sanity throughout the craziness of back-to-school season.
- Manage Your Stress – Doing an activity every day, just for the sake of enjoyment, is one of the best ways to minimize stress. Before the school year starts, sit down and make a list of ten activities you enjoy. Don’t put too much thought into it; just let the thoughts come. Every day, do at least one of these things for a minimum of thirty minutes. If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t have time for that,” take a step back and think about what this means. If you don’t have thirty minutes a day to do something you enjoy, you need to re-think your life.
- Eat Food You Like – A healthy diet won’t be sustainable if you don’t enjoy the food you eat. During this busy time of year, it can become even easier to slip into bad eating patterns. Imagine you’ve had a busy day at work and now it’s time to go pick up your kids from school. You have a salad you brought to work with you, but honestly, you can’t stand salad. In your mind, you might start to justify fast food, telling yourself it’s for the sake of convenience. In reality, the truth is a burger and fries just sounds a lot tastier than a salad. If your healthy food is also food you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to eat it. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods out there, so don’t settle for bland and boring just because it’s good for you.
- Play With Your Kids – It shouldn’t be hard to play with your kids, but sometimes it can be difficult to go from get-things-done mode to play mode. Challenge yourself to make that transition once a day. Losing yourself in play and forgetting about all the things that need to be done will go a long way in easing anxieties and worries you might have.
- Move Some Weight – Not only is moving weight around regularly good for your health – bone and joint health in particular – but it also relieves stress. It doesn’t have to complicated and require a lot of equipment, either. Bodyweight exercises like pull ups, muscle ups, dips, and pistols are challenging and fun to progress as well. You might intend to make it to the gym three days a week once the kids are in school, but that’s often easier said than done. Set yourself up for success by investing in equipment for use at home.
- Walk Every Day – Walking is an easy activity to do every day. Walking helps balance the pelvis and relieve stress. It’s also something you can do anywhere, with or without your children. Aim to walk briskly for at least thirty minutes every day.
- Sleep Whenever Possible – If you’re a mom, particularly one with young children at home, sleep needs to be a priority. If possible, take naps during the day with your younger children. Go to bed at least eight hours before you need to wake up. That way, even if your kids keep you up for two hours at night, you’ll still get in a minimum of six hours of sleep.
- Set Goals and Reward Yourself – Some people say goal setting isn’t effective, and I would agree to some degree and in certain contexts. But during hectic times, having small-scale goals that fit into a big-picture scheme is a helpful way to make sure you accomplish the things that are most important to you. And don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve your goals. When your children work hard to make progress, you reward them, right? The same should apply to you.
- Topeka Health & Wellness Magazine– Breakingmuscle.com