As summer draws to a close and kids head back to school, families are slowly adjusting to new routines and rediscovering the joys of homework, science projects, and extracurricular activities. But don’t let a full fall schedule prevent you from reaching your personal fitness goals — these simple tips will help you stay fit once the kids have headed back to the classroom.
1. Skip the Carpool
Leave the car in the garage and try walking the kids to and from school when weather permits. Not only will you burn calories, but the kids will benefit from the fresh air — and get some much needed physical activity themselves. If you live too far from school to walk, try riding bikes.
2. Make a Commitment
It’s easy to skip a workout when your only plan is to “fit it in” when you have free time. Realistically, how often do you actually have free time? A better plan would be to register for a Zumba class, join a volleyball league, or schedule a weekly run with friends who expect you to show up.
3. Get Involved
Youth sports teams — particularly community-based organizations — are almost always recruiting volunteer coaches, so when you sign your little one up for soccer, why not head out on the field too? Coaching may not be the most strenuous physical activity, but you’ll be in better shape than if you spend practices sitting in the stands with your Blackberry.
4. Wear the Right Shoes
Shoes that can help you exercise simply by wearing them? Maybe. The Stepgym toning shoes, recently featured on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act, are meant to tone and firm your muscles while you walk so that ven with a jam-packed daily schedule, you can still find time to stay fit.
5. Exercise as a Family
Quality family time is frequently in short supply during the school year, so make the most of the time when you’re all together. Go hiking on weekends and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, or replace traditional family game night board games with an exhilarating family dance party on the Wii.
6. Set Goals and Track Your Progess
Staying fit involves more than just regular exercise — you have to be motivated to achieve success. Set concrete goals, like working out daily or replacing fries with salads, and then track your progress in a journal or with a health and fitness app.
7. Make Fitness a Priority
Children emulate the behavior they see from adults, and letting your exercise routine fall victim to the busy school year can send your kids the message that fitness doesn’t matter. Be sure to make health and fitness a priority in your life, so that it will always be a priority in the lives of your children as well.
How do you stay fit during the school year?
Please make sure you check with your physician before you embark on new fitness goals. We want you to be fit, but we don’t want you getting hurt.
by Alyssa Chirco
A freelance writer, parenting blogger, and mother of two from St. Louis. A graduate of Washington University with degrees in English Literature and Film Studies, she now spends her days playing Legos, diffusing sibling rivalry, and hoping her house will magically clean itself. Alyssa is also a contributing editor for ParentingSquad.com, and a Guest Perspectives Blogger for Dr.Greene.com.