This is always a strange time of year for me.
Even though I’m not a mom, the back-to-school, no-more-beach-weekend mode always arrives with a shock to the system. Here in New York City, all the people who spent a good part of the season in their summer homes are back. Students crowd into the subways along with the rest of the commuters. The incessant buzz of the city that never sleeps kicks up a notch back to its norm.
Wherever you live, we’re all faced with leaving the lazy-days-of-summer schedule behind. No more summer Fridays away from the office. The kids may have new school schedules and new after-school activities. There may be life changes that involve new responsibilities, too. If you’re trying to fit “working out” into your fall schedule, here are a few tips to make things a little less overwhelming:
- Be realistic: Saying you’re going to exercise two hours a day, seven days a week is sabotage. The first day you miss, you’ll be discouraged, and could wind up saying, “Well, I just blew the whole week, so why bother going back?” A better approach is to aim for two or three days each week for the first month. Trust me, as you start experiencing the benefits from exercising, you’ll want to spend more time working out.
- Adjust the Attitude: Think of exercise as a “chore,” and you’ll be done with the new routine in no time. Instead, think of exercise as “Me Time.” No matter what’s going on in my life, the time I spend working out is the one time my brain goes into neutral. Use exercise as a break from the ordinary, and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to sweating out whatever ails you.
- Research deals: Backpacks and computers aren’t the only things you can get a good price on at this time of year. Many gyms are offering back-to-school membership rates. Just remember to make sure it’s convenient for you to get to. I don’t care if a gym is offering a free membership. It if takes you an hour from the house or office to get there, chances are you won’t go based on the distance.
- Reward yourself: No, not with cupcakes or candy. Instead, treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers, a hoodie or refresh your playlist with some new high-energy workout tunes. Really want to splurge? Set up one or two sessions with a personal trainer so you can receive a proper assessed and start on a safe program.
- Give yourself a break! If you’re starting on an exercise routine for the first time in your life or getting back into it after an unexpected hiatus, you can’t expect to see drastic changes overnight. Habits take about six weeks to take root in your psyche, so take it day by day, week by week and focus on the positive responses from your body.
Stay tuned for Friday’s post where I’ll offer some food for thought on getting your healthy eating habits back on track, too.
For now, remember even though getting back to the grind can be daunting, it’s also the perfect opportunity to sharpen your focus and welcome a whole new season filled with countless opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!