The back-to-school rush is about to kick into high gear, and you’ve got paperwork to prepare, appointments to attend, school supplies to buy, and that’s just the beginning of the list.
The shift from a beach vacation to school enrollment is enough to leave you dizzy and missing important items on your to-do list.
Guess what is usually the first priority to go?
Your health and wellness, of course—but not this year!
This time, you won’t let your health slip while you get back into the fall routine. Here are 5 tips that will keep you feeling fit and full of energy from September to December while those kids go back to school.
One look at the calendar might make you want to throw your health goals onto the backburner, but your health depends on you.
Sit down with a notebook and calendar and mark off all the events and activities you know are coming up. Although this season comes with a lot of moving parts and last-minute plans, this calendar will give you a general schedule that you can work with.
Next, plan out your menu for the week, schedule your time to exercise, and write down a few daily-musts for self-care. For example, you might decide that in September, you’re going to make sure that each day you drink 64 oz of water, walk for 20 minutes, drink a protein smoothie for breakfast, and eat a salad with a source of protein for lunch.
Use a habit tracker to make sure you hit these minimum goals every day. Keep your habit tracker, as well as your calendar, in an easy-to-see place in your home, like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator.
Each weekend, review your calendar and prepare for the week ahead. Shop for all the ingredients needed for your meals, or order your groceries online and have them delivered. Stick to whole foods and healthy ingredients.
On Sunday (or whichever day works best for you), spend 1-2 hours in the kitchen prepping your meals. Whip up a dinner with enough leftovers for Monday evening to get your week rolling. Package up or bundle together your lunches and dinners for the week.
Lean on your instant pot for help this month, and try out some of my favorite crockpot recipes. They’ll taste like you spent hours on them, without all the time in the kitchen.
Exercise can sink to the bottom of your to-do list during the back-to-school season, but busy or not, your body depends on physical activity to stay healthy.
It’s certainly not a time-waster either—daily exercise actually boosts your mood, energy, and productivity throughout the day.
Plan how you can stay active in September. Aim for 1 or 2 days of strength training and 3 days of walking, biking, or yoga each week. Even just 20 minutes of walking will benefit your body, brain, and longevity.
Add movement to your weekly routine!
Take the stairs when you can. Walk around the field or complete a quick HIIT workout while your kids are at practice instead of waiting in the car. Join your kids in their outdoor activities—the more you model an active lifestyle, the more they’ll be excited to participate.
While a highly detailed schedule is helpful at other times of the year, you might not be able to predict your days as easily this month. A new routine and lots of to-do items will keep every day looking different.
This month, learn to roll with the punches. Not every day can be planned out to a T, but you can be prepared for the mayhem. September is the month for quick, healthy, and pre-made meals. Stock your pantries and prep your fridge so you have healthy meals on-the-go and at the ready.
If you’ll be out for the day, whip up a healthy protein shake or pack a few protein bars. Bag up some chomps, mixed nuts, baby carrots, and an apple to have in the car or with you in case you start to feel hungry or need a boost. Grab some bagged salads and rotisserie chickens for quick lunches, or make a few turkey breast roll-ups for a protein-rich snack.
Every day is different. Some days we’ll live like a health-food blogger, other days we’ll end up eating half the frozen pizza. During the back-to-school rush, strive for progress, not perfection. Perfection will lead to a crash and burn. Progress will keep you moving forward for the long run.
As you adjust to a new season and schedule, give yourself time to work out the kinks and details of your new health routine. Be patient, make adjustments, and lend yourself some grace as you roll into this new season. The more flexible and forgiving you can be with yourself, the easier you’ll find what works best for your health.
With these five tips, no fall rush can take you down. Try them out this week and watch how easily you can crush it this fall season.
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