Back To School Fitness

            I am sure that everyone has taken out some time to enjoy the beautiful summer that we have had this year. But there is something else around the corner already and that is school. For those of you that either attend school or have kids that attend, you all know that this is one of those times during the year that can really interfere with our everyday routine. It is the time to reschedule our time in order for everything to fit into place once more. Many people panic because they think that they will not be able to do so many things all in one day, but it is all about organization and dedication.

            I remember when I first started putting my exercise routine with my everyday chores, and school. To be honest, I thought I would not be able to do it but I was determined in maintaining my health and physique. More than six years have passed since I started and thankfully I have been able to do it. Some of the things I did to keep myself on track were to schedule my workouts, start my day earlier, set a “food prep” day, and eliminate processed foods.

             Scheduling your workouts really helps as you will not wait until you reach the gym or workout place to start thinking about your routine. Pick a day out the week that you are the least busy and use it to plan on what day you will work each muscle out. For example, on Mondays (Chest and Triceps), Tuesdays (Back and Biceps), Wednesdays (Legs and Calves), and Thursdays (Shoulders and Traps). Friday you can either rest or just repeat the cycle all over again; remember this is just an example. I would also recommend that you try to keep a log with all the exercises that you did that day and the amount of weight used or repetitions that you might have performed. This way you already know what you need to improve for the following week.

            Start your day early! You might think, “I am not a morning person”, but if you are truly motivated then you will do anything to reach your goal. This of course might still be something unlikely because you either go to school very early or you might have a job early in the morning. So, as long as you program a time in your day for an exercise then you should be good. 30-60 minutes of exercise a day is what most experts say that is needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am sure that you can find at least 30 minutes that you can spare from doing something else that might not be as productive.

            I know it is hard to keep a healthy and strict meal plan when you are in school with all of those vending machines and fast food places close by while riding back home. But all processed foods should be avoided and eliminated completely from our diets. This even includes foods that we have at our homes that have ingredients that we do not even know about. Try to find foods that are whole or that have as little ingredients as possible. Obesity is alarmingly growing in schools all around the nation and these foods are not helping with the problem. My recommendation is that you use a day to make as much healthy meals as possible and you can freeze them for later consumption. If you cannot do that then try to prep your meals first thing in the morning for just that one day. For the kids in school, the best thing that can be done is to make them healthy snacks or meals consisting of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats (chicken, turkey, and fish) for them to take to school and consume at home as well.

            I want to finish by saying that motivation is key, and that everyone in the family should help in order to keep that motivation at a high. If the motivation and determination is not present in the home, then how do we expect to reach our goals outside of it? Living a healthy lifestyle is not just about exercise but of being able to maintain a balance between ourselves and our surroundings.