10 ways to shape up after the summer holidays

So you’ve survived six weeks (or more) of no school. You’ve possibly even enjoyed having the little nippers around. But when the kids go back to school, or sometimes even before, it’s not uncommon to notice a thicker waist-line, altered eating habits and a lack of motivation to move. Perhaps a lack of motivation to do anything at all!

Do not despair. You are not alone. We are here with a 10 step guide to sucking it all back in and getting your perkiness back on track – both in your running bottoms and in life.

  1. Do not fall prey to the promises of the super shouty bootcamp/class. Unless you love the above and have perhaps taken a break due to a change of circumstances, they smack of desperation. They’ll probably leave you sore, feeling really unfit and lacking in motivation to go back. I’m not saying don’t do it, or that they’re bad, just that one shouty class per week does not a slender waist make (if that’s your aim). Consider that burning around 500 calories in the average bootcamp class could be spread out into five, 15-20 minute brisk walks during the week where you could catch up with a friend or walk the dog.
  2. The same goes for a shiny new gym membership. By all means check it out and if you are a gym bunny jump right in but a gym is only really a building with weights and machines, perhaps a nice changing room if you’re lucky. Before you sign up, ask yourself when you will go. Actually look at your diary and slot in your sessions. If you can go three times a week then go ahead but you may be better off finding a local class with friends.
  3. Do find something you can do at home. A fall back option. Call it contingency planning. There will be times when in spite of all your best efforts you just can’t get out to do what you’d planned. So have contingency. Perhaps a back up body weight circuit, a DVD you love or try an online class. Make the most of virtual fitness.
  4. Consistency is key. Our Fit School Community is currently taking part in a 30 minutes a day challenge. You could join us or perhaps set aside a two week period in your diary when you commit to doing 20-30 minutes per day and find a group to keep you accountable.
  5. Sign up to a 5k challenge. It’s a great first running distance and having a race in your diary will make you train.
  6. Cut back on the holiday vices. Wheat, sugar, alcohol and dairy (ice cream) can all creep in over the holidays. You don’t have to cut it out but perhaps limit your intake and see how it makes you feel.
  7. Holidays aren’t all bad. You get to try different foods and often have more variety in your diet – so continue with the good holiday vibes. Try new recipes in the kitchen. Maybe get your kids involved too.
  8. Learn a new skill or sport, or perhaps take a course or join a club. It’s never too late to learn and learning a new skill is an important and often overlooked element of fitness and health. It gives your nervous system a boost and will help to keep your mind sharp.
  9. Plan your meals. You planned your holiday, you probably planned your kids’ schedules too. Take your planning skills into the kitchen. A week’s worth of meals planned is usually a week without take out. You could even plan to make extra one night so you have leftovers in the freezer for an emergency meal.
  10. Seek out opportunities to be more active. It doesn’t have to be structured exercise classes. Meet friends in the park. Walk the school run. Cycle to the pub for a drink. Make the most of the mild weather whilst it lasts.

Of course the benefits of getting more activity into your life go far beyond shape and size. The fitter you are the better you’ll feel in both mind and body. So put on your trainers, grab your keys and get outside.

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