5 Tips For Back To School Mums and Dads
Its always a big change when the kids go back to school, I notice it massively in my business and can see a renewed motivation and will to get fit in September. After a summer of BBQ’s, beach days, ice creams, beer gardens and the like, it can often mean that you parents have gained a couple of inches or pounds here and there, without realising it, until September comes and then bang!…..reality hits again.
Although I’m not a parent myself (and some way off it), I work with parents every day and understand the competing demands in the summer months with work, spending time with your kids, holidays and days out amongst many other aspects. This leaves less time for fitness, nutrition and health in your week. Although many of us approach the summer with the anticipation of “getting outside more, so I’ll be doing more exercise” or “It’s not so cold in the mornings so I’ll get up early and train”, Sometimes this just doesn't happen and time eludes us.
So now the kids are back to school, you ask yourself “what should I do?”, “where do I start?”, “how can I get lean again?”. Well, there really is no right or wrong way to get back in shape again, but understanding the factors of nutrition and fitness that other clients in the past have struggled with, here are my 5 tips for back to school mums and dads when looking to get back in shape this autumn:
- TAKE A 5-MINUTE ACTION - This may sound a little vague, but it gives you scope to work it in to your personal life. Simply doing something for 5 minutes can be enough to save you time later in the day or the next day. This could be prepping a salad, chopping veg for dinner, looking up a healthy recipe, walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes. It really can be anything at all that leads to a healthier day for you and your family.
- MAKE TIME - Now that the kids are back in school you may find you have more time or less time depending on your particular work schedule or lifestyle. Either way, Planning is a key element to the success of anything. If you plan time to exercise or prep healthy food its more likely to happen. It wont always, but its definitely more likely and therefore is always worth doing. You might find now that the kids are back to school that they go to bed earlier which frees up time in the evening, or that they are up earlier and therefore while getting them ready in the morning you can prep yourself alongside them as a good routine. Either way find time in the day to get the necessary healthy behaviours done.
- RELAX - Make sure that you don't stress too much about the fact that you may have gained a little weight or slipped from the fitness you had back in March. When you become aware of where you are, once normality returns, it can often be a slap in the face for letting yourself slip. Beating yourself up doesn't get you anywhere other than towards a more negative day, so take a deep breath, re-calibrate where you are and take action on moving forward.
- GET THE KIDS INVOLVED - Over the summer you do so much as a family and you enjoy all that summer gives you when you’re together. Why should this stop now? Its likely that the kids will be going back to their schools and may want to get in the football or netball team or perhaps prove themselves in their dance class. Have you ever considered asking the kids if they want to get up and do a 20 min workout with you before school? Kids are pretty good at seeing whats good for them and if they see mummy or daddy doing something, there is a good chance they will want to as well. You’re helping them to help you.
- THE SUNDAY RITUAL - Finally my last tip is based on the Sunday ritual. This is a key element I teach to nutrition clients and although it seems pretty obvious, its a game changer in my opinion and can lead to a good start to the week or a poor one. Sunday’s tend to be a family day for most people and often this will revolve around a nice meal together at some point. My advice is use this time to cook up extras for the week ahead. Whether this is extra meals that can be frozen down or simply cooking up some extra veg or meat portions to go in the fridge it all helps to a smoother week ahead. It often means no more cooking time or prep time either, you're just being smart with the time you’re already using to make that family meal on a Sunday.
Whilst you MAKE TIME for this meal as part of your SUNDAY RITUAL with your family and look forward to helping them RELAX, you can always TAKE A 5-MINUTE ACTION to prep some food while the other food is cooking. Perhaps GET THE KIDS INVOLVED in this process too, many hands make light work…… Try some of these behaviours and who knows what autumn may bring now you're back to normality again.
I hope this resonates with some of you and you feel you can achieve some success with some of these tips. Of course of you feel that you might like some extra help, get in touch below or visit my contact page and I’m here for you any time.
- Coach Anderson