Is it me, or does the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day fly by faster with each passing year? I know the calendar says we still have 16 days until the official start of autumn, but for me, summer ends with Labor Day. Sigh. I hope everyone enjoyed the end of the season and that the new month is off to a strong start.
One thing I love about September is the fact that all the back-to-school buzz makes this the perfect time to re-focus your attention on getting your health and fitness routine in tip-top shape. Maybe you’re thinking: “Laura, are you kidding? I’m too busy trying to get the kids back on a regular schedule, I have no time to even think about working out!” Well, why not turn that challenge into an opportunity? As you help the family re-adjust to the non-summer-Friday work weeks and new start times for school and after-school activities, it’s also the time to fit some fitness into your own routine. Who deserves to carve out some time get that daily dose of much-needed endorphins? The answer is simple – YOU!
Here are some tips to set the pace for a FITASTIC fall ahead:
- Seek Out New Schedules & Offers: Group fitness schedules often change in September. Maybe this is the season that total body conditioning class finally fits into your schedule. Be sure to ask about any back-to-school specials, including friends and family rates. This is a great time to make exercise a family affair or schedule bi-weekly workouts with a buddy!
- Fall Into Healthy Eating Habits: Packing lunch for the kiddies? Add just a few more minutes to the prep time and create some healthy snacks or small meals for yourself. I spend approximately 30 minutes every Sunday slicing and dicing veggies including peppers, celery sticks and carrots and then pack them in reusable containers. I can grab a portion anytime as a healthy snack or side dish or I can mix the veggies with brown rice for a mini-meal. Some of my other favorite go-to eats include raw almonds, green apples and hard boiled eggs.
- Put It In Writing: If you drive your kids to school or your spouse to the train station, figure out if there’s time immediately following a drop-off or right before a pick-up for a workout. You could hit the gym for a group exercise class, drive a few more blocks to the park for a run or meet a friend for a brisk walk. Typing the activity in to your smart phone task list or putting an old-fashioned sticky note on the fridge is a great visual boost to keep that workout on the schedule.
- Ten Minutes of Something is Better than Nothing! As time seems to grow more precious each day, there are plenty of workouts geared toward gaining maximum results in less time.Click here for a refresher on my “Tear-It-Up-in-Ten Circuit” Do you really only have five minutes to spare? No problem. Click here for a reminder on how you can burn some calories and get the heart pumping with the four-minute Tabata workout.
- Wardrobe Prep: Do you help your kids pick out their clothes before they go to bed? Then go ahead and put out your own morning workout gear, too! Put your clothes in the bathroom the night before. It’s usually the first room we visit after we wake up, so if your clothes are staring you in the face, it may be harder to ditch the workout. If you’re exercising after work, pack your gym bag the night before and leave it by the door to grab on your way out. (And don’t forget to grab one of your prepped snacks for some healthy fuel, too!)
Finally, it’s important to remember getting fitness on your schedule and healthy foods into your fridge are two big steps toward a healthier you in the season ahead. During my annual August blogging hiatus, I had many conversations with several different gal pals (who also happen to be great moms) about their frustration over falling off the fitness wagon over the summer. Between keeping the kids entertained and all the BBQs, they found themselves eager to get back into a leaner, meaner routine. I’ll tell you what I told them: leave the “sins of the summer” in the past, but keep the memories close in your heart. Just as the leaves are sure to fall in the days ahead, you’ll soon find yourself back on track with your efforts to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
I hope this rare Tear-It-Up Tuesday post finds everyone doing well after a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend! Now that we’ve unofficially kicked off the summer of 2016, I thought I’d offer three quick tips to get your mind and body ready for my favorite season of the year.
- Stretch, stretch and stretch some more! Whether your new routine involves outdoor boot camps or beach volleyball games, a lot of us are using some muscles that haven’t seen some action in awhile. Be sure to stretch and stay hydrated to keep the aches and pain to a minimum and help prevent injuries.
- Don’t ignore the core! Many of us are breaking a sweat on unstable terrain so it’s important to keep the core muscles strong to maintain good balance and prevent falls. Whether you’re running, swimming or playing a game of pick-up, taking five extra minutes to add some planks and crunches to your routine can keep your center of gravity strong and keep you on your feet!
- Time for new kicks? I believe every should replace their athletic shoes every six months to make sure you have solid support for your activities. If you’re buying a new bathing suit or other summertime gear, why not add a new pair of sneakers to your closet, too?
Looking for a few tools to help with your summer of fitness fun? The three-minute below offers a few ideas. My thanks to Me + My, Arnicare and Halo for giving me the opportunity to be the spokesperson for their products and to the team at Vidicom for another great production. After you check out the video, get out there and enjoy the abbreviated work week and all the opportunities ahead to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
As you loyal readers know, I’ve been posting new material for Motivation Mondays since this blog started back in July 2011. While I didn’t plan to push this week’s post to land on Tear-It-Up Tuesday, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, realize there are only so many hours in a day and accept the way things work out. The bottom line is we can probably all do a better job at NOT beating ourselves up when we don’t cross out every single item on our to-do list every single day of the week.
That being said, I’ve finally “forgiven” myself for not getting to the fitness center during my business trip to Los Angeles. I did pack my workout wear, but when I factored in a five-hour flight, three-hour time difference and production call time of 3 am, I had to choose between getting the rest I needed to do my job well or sacrificing the few zzzz’s I could get for a workout. At the end of the day, the project went well, my boss and the clients were happy and by not running myself into the ground, I also warded off some serious cold germs provided by my fellow passengers during the flight home.
When I returned, it was just in time to enjoy a fun fall Saturday with a dear gal pal and her family and then round off the weekend spending quality time with Mom and Dad. Could I have banged out a post when I got back to the city on Sunday? Probably. Would it have been coherent? Probably not. Obviously if I had a work deadline, I would have sucked it up and got things done. However, when things that are supposed to be fun start stressing you out, it’s time to step back and ask yourself: “Is the world going to spin off its axis if this doesn’t get done for another 24 hours?”
So, instead of fretting over writing, I used the time to get organized, rest and recover. You know what? I had extra energy to kick off my Motivation Monday with a Physique57 class and then attack the computer. Now I’m ready to take on whatever the week ahead throws at me – physically and mentally.
Let’s face it, most of us have too much on our plates on any given day of the week. When crunch time gets extra crunchy, we sometimes have to make choices to make a whole laundry list of “stuff” a little easier to carry. Maybe your favorite group exercise class falls on the same night your child needs help studying for a spelling test or the only night you and your spouse or best friend have time to catch up on a long-overdue date or phone call. Make the choices that work for you in that moment and remember tomorrow’s coming…with a whole new set of opportunities to help us have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!