As much as we all love the Summer season, it is coming to a close as quickly as it arrived. School is right around the corner for many children and parents and with this comes the added stress of homework, extracurricular activities, early mornings, etc. Here are some ways to maintain your fitness goals even with the sadness of summer’s end.
1. Set Goals and Reward Yourself
For me, setting goals and having a plan to ensure that I achieve those goals is something that keeps me motivated. During the busy school season it is important to have realistic goals that can fit into your every day routine to guarantee that you accomplish the things that are most important to you. This could be something as small as running a certain amount each week, attending two barre, cardio or fitness classes each week, etc. And don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve those goals.
2. Manage Your Stress
I suggest making a list of 10 activities that you enjoy. Don’t put too much thought into it or pressure on it. Just think of activities that are stress relieving for you and jot them down. I’ve found that doing an activity every day, just for the sake of enjoyment, is one of the best ways to minimize stress. Every day, take the time to do at least one of these things for at least thirty minutes to relieve stress. You may be thinking “I don’t have time for that”. It is a proven fact that even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds. Stressing less is extremely important to maintaining your fitness goals and to living a happy life.
3. Create a Meal Plan
Doing some sort of meal planning will help you meet your fitness goals. This can mean different things for different people and families. The weeks I don’t meal plan are the weeks we eat out more, eat less veggies, and feel sluggish. Here are some ideas you can try:
• Plan out 6-8 weeks worth of meal plans, make grocery lists, and rotate these plans throughout the school year.
• Pick a day and a spend an hour or so prepping things like lunches, snacks, or dinners for the week. If your kids are old enough, teach them to help you!
• Make freezer meals in advance to use on those busy nights.
• Use a website that delivers your meals to your door. A great one that I like to use is www.blueapron.com. They partner with farmers to raise the highest-quality ingredients, by creating a distribution system that delivers ingredients at a better value and by investing in the things that matter most—our environment and our communities. It also creates something to do with your family and new recipes to keep your meals less redundant.