Kids back at school – now it’s time for YOU!
We hope that you have had an amazing summer! If you have children, we guess this means a mixture of juggling work, childcare, organising the family holiday and all that goes with it and planning exciting things to do to keep the kids entertained. Even though it can be more flexible and less structured, it can often feel like a full-time job on its own 😊
Now, as the summer comes to an end and the routine of the school year begins, you can breathe and take some time just for you to work on your energy, health and fitness. When the kids return to school, the family dynamics shift, and should create opportunities for you to establish a consistent and beneficial exercise routine.
It’s so important for you to look after your health and fitness (often this isn’t realised until things start to go wrong) and to find the time to incorporate this into your weekly lifestyle. This can be a challenge to find the time for yourself especially after the more flexible schedules of the summer holidays. If you’re juggling work, looking after the house and childcare it’s easy to push exercise to the bottom of your priority list, but please remember that regular, consistent physical exercise is essential for overall health and well-being. Exercise improves fitness, increases energy, strength and stamina, promotes better sleep, allowing you to feel more energised and focused throughout the day, and reduces stress, anxiety and depression. It also releases endorphins (feel good chemicals in the brain) helping to boost your mood and improve your mental health and well-being. The effects of consistent exercise are long lasting for both physical and mental health.
Finding the Right Time to Exercise
The key to successfully incorporating exercise into a busy back-to-school schedule is finding the right time that works best for each individual. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
1. Morning Exercise: Early morning workouts can be a great option for parents, as they can get their exercise done before the day’s responsibilities begin. Waking up a bit earlier than usual may seem challenging at first, but it can set a positive tone for the rest of the day and ensure that exercise doesn’t get pushed aside later on.
2. Lunch Break Workouts: For parents who work outside the home, using their lunch break for a quick workout can be a practical solution. Whether it’s a short walk, a jog around the office park, or a fitness class nearby, this mid-day boost can help improve mood and productivity.
3. Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: As the kids head off to school and parents find themselves with a free afternoon, it can be an ideal time to engage in physical activity. Whether it’s hitting the gym, going for a bike ride, or attending a fitness class, exercising during this time can be both refreshing and rejuvenating.
4. Evening Wind Down: Some parents prefer to exercise in the evening as a way to wind down after a busy day. It can also serve as a way to shift the focus from work and household chores to self-care, allowing for a better night’s sleep.
Tips for Making Exercise a Habit
Regardless of the chosen time for exercise, making it a consistent habit is key to reaping the long-term benefits. Here are some tips to help parents stick to their fitness routine:
1. Set Realistic Goals: Start with achievable exercise goals that align with the available time and energy. Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and may deter parents from continuing their exercise routine.
2. Involve the Family: Incorporate physical activities that the whole family can enjoy together. This not only sets a positive example for the kids but also strengthens family bonds.
3. Make it Fun: Choose activities that are enjoyable to avoid viewing exercise as a chore. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, or playing a sport, finding pleasure in the activity increases the likelihood of sticking with it.
4. Create a Support System: Connect with other parents or friends who are also looking to prioritize exercise. Having a support system can provide encouragement and accountability.
5. Be Flexible: Life can be unpredictable, especially with school schedules and extracurricular activities. It’s essential to be flexible and adapt the exercise routine when needed without feeling guilty – give yourself unconditional permission to rest or reschedule when needed.
In conclusion, the back-to-school season presents a valuable opportunity for parents to prioritize their health and well-being by incorporating regular exercise into their daily routines. Finding the right time and making exercise a consistent habit can have a positive impact on physical fitness, mental health, and overall quality of life. By taking care of themselves, parents can better navigate the demands of parenthood and daily life with renewed energy and positivity. Remember, a healthier and happier parent contributes to a happier family life overall.
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