back to school

Getting Back to the Routine

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The time has come to see the kids off on the bus and get back to your adult, school year routine. Summer is tough on your workout schedule because you are taking vacations or driving the kids back and forth to summer camps and other daily activities. Now that summer time is over and you probably find yourself saying,

I need to get back on track where the gym is concerned.

Here are a couple of tips that might help you get back in the gym this fall:

  1. Put It On The Calendar – Busy folks are typically very organized all the way down to the color coded calendar that lets them know where they (or their kids) are supposed to be at all times. Sit down with your calendar at the beginning of each month and plan out where your workouts will go. Schedule them like appointments and as the month goes on, you will have a tendency to schedule pop-up activities around your workouts and your other appointments.

Most people think of a three-day/week routine as a Mon, Wed, Fri. However, when you look at your upcoming month you might realize that MWF works great for two weeks and the other two a Mon, Tues, Thurs works better. Looking ahead will keep you from dropping out mid-week because you weren’t able to do the usual MWF.

Try not to get stuck on a certain time to workout; unless you are planning on going to fitness class that starts at a specific time. If your after-work schedule stays booked four out of five days a week, you might have to consider an early morning or a lunch time workout. To avoid training plateaus, it is just as good for your body to change up the time of your workout as it is to change the workout itself.

Another benefit to actually writing in workout time on a calendar is that we have a tendency to do it – if it’s on the calendar. We plan our day around our schedule, so plan 30-60 minutes for yourself. If working out stays in the back of your mind as something you should do it will wind up on the “I-really-need-to” chore list next to “clean out the garage” or “organize the closet”.

Remember, if you “fail to plan, you plan to fail”

  1. Prepare the night before – To eliminate the “I left my clothes/shoes at home” excuse, pack your gym bag the night before. Be sure to pack accordingly if you will need to shower at the gym due to a tight schedule. If you are likely to forget nightly prep because your days are long enough, pack your shoes and 2-4 sets of clothes and leave them in your trunk. Plus, if you always have a set of gym clothes packed you are prepared to sneak in a workout when your plans change or when time permits.

Don’t forget to pack snacks too in case you need them. I have used the excuse myself of “I can’t workout right now because I’m STARVING”. To stop this problem before it starts, throw an apple, a few protein bars, or a small container of protein powder, in your gym bag.

  1. Hire a trainer – This might not be what you had in mind, but a personal trainer is the ultimate form of accountability. Maybe you have worked out for years or you are a former athlete who knows exactly what to do (or not do) in the gym; that’s not the point here. The point is creating accountability and reforming an old habit to be in the gym on a regular basis. A trainer can help you set specific goals and plan out a realistic time frame to reach them.

Even those of us who enjoy working out and know what to do will enjoy meeting with a trainer because you won’t have to think about what to do. It’s a wonderful thing to walk in the gym and not have to think “hmmm… what should I do today?” When you meet with your trainer, you can save the time you spend contemplating by simply showing up and following the program they have planned for you.

And finally, you are likely to put the appointment with your personal trainer on your calendar right?

And now that we’ve come full circle, go forth and get back to the gym!

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About Elisabeth Fouts

Elisabeth is the Education & Content Manager for Power Systems. She has served the fitness industry for over 15 years has a wide variety of experience from personal training and group fitness instruction to health club membership sales and fitness management. She joined Team Power Systems as Education Coordinator in 2015 and has since produced and co-authored educational content for live and virtual training sessions both internally for staff training and externally for industry educational organizations across the United States. Elisabeth holds a B.S. in Education & Exercise Science and is a certified fitness instructor with ACE and Les Mills.