They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, these last few months must have been a blast because summer flew by and the back-to-school chaos has begun. Remember those lazy days by the pool, ice cream in hand, without a care in the world? Now, you're back to the hustle of school drop-offs, homework, soccer practice, ballet recitals, and what's for dinner again? Within this whirlwind, finding time for fitness can feel like a far-off dream.
But not this year, Denville parents! While juggling those PTA meetings and science projects, your personal fitness doesn't have to take a back seat. The Gym Connection (TGC) is here to help.
On top of providing personalized training programs that align with your busy schedule, we're bringing you our top 7 tips to help you fall back into your fitness routine this season and fight the back-to-school scaries.
1. Pencil It Into Your Schedule
Back to school means you’re back to scheduling your life around tons of extracurricular activities. During summer break, there’s plenty of time to exercise while the kids are at camp or during daily family outings to the park.
But now, planning your workouts around your family’s busy schedule is key to reaching your health and fitness goals. And studies show that the physical act of writing down your goals means you’re 42% more likely to achieve them! So break out the pencil and paper or add it to your family’s shared Apple or Google calendar so everyone knows when it’s time to get your sweat on.
2. Work With a Personal Trainer
When you get sucked into laid-back, sunny summer days, it’s easy to fall off of your workout routine. Hiring a personal trainer can help you get back on the wagon during the school season.
Working out with a personal trainer is like having a built-in accountability buddy. They help cheer you on and give you an extra push on days you’re lacking motivation. They also make sure you maximize your time in the gym. Only have 30 minutes before you have to pick up your kid from after-school care? With a personal trainer and a tailored fitness routine, 30 minutes is all you’ll need. (And The Gym Connection has some of the best personal trainers in Denville, NJ).
3. Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Daily Routine
Who says you can only exercise in the gym? Finding sneaky ways to add activity to your day is a great way to work around your busy schedule and hit your move goal.
Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or consider walking or biking with your kids to school. Every step counts when it comes to your health goals! Plus, when you combine family time with fitness, you’re setting a good example for your young ones on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
4. Prioritize Your Recovery
If you've been out of the game for a while, you're bound to feel sore after a few sessions back in the gym. Keep in mind that your recovery is just as important as your cardio and strength training.
Stretch after every session and consider investing in recovery tools like foam rollers or a massage gun to help flush the lactic acid–what causes muscle soreness–from your tissues. And don’t forget to rest! Sleep is your body's chance to repair the damage to your muscles caused by working out (better sleep = better gains).
5. Meal Prep for Success
Between packing PB&Js with the crusts cut off and air-frying dino nuggets for dinner, your nutrition matters too! In fact, experts say that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. (Ever heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen?)
Meal prep ensures your diet stays on point and saves you time during the busy school week. Cook a series of healthy meals in bulk and split them into 4-5 servings that you can store in the fridge–or freezer–and reheat when it’s time to grub. And if cooking isn't your forte, there are plenty of healthy meal prep companies in Denville that will take the guesswork out of the prep work.
6. Utilize Semi-Private Facilities Like TGC
Your gym time is sacred “me-time”. And the last thing you want to do during your 1 hour away from the hustle and bustle of life is to spend it fighting over fitness equipment with other gym-goers.
Private and semi-private training facilities, like The Gym Connection, allow you to maximize the limited time you have to lift. They offer a calm, safe setting where you can focus on your fitness goals – no crowds, no rush, no judgment. And at TGC, you’ll find all the same state-of-the-art equipment–like the BootyBuilder and Precor selectorized machines– that you would find at your local big box gym.
7. Monitor Your Progress and Reward Yourself
Sometimes getting back into the gym is just like riding a bike – you can pick up right where you left off. But sometimes, it can feel like you’re starting back at square one of your fitness journey. That’s why it’s essential to #treatyourself when you hit a fitness milestone after getting back into the gym. Whether it’s buying new training gear or indulging in your favorite cheat day meal, research shows that positive reinforcement helps make things into a habit. (Think Pavlov’s Theory)
Dopamine–AKA the “feel good” chemical–is a neurotransmitter in your brain that gets released when you experience something enjoyable. Because dopamine makes you feel good, it acts as a reminder, and motivator, to keep doing the activity that signaled the hormone burst in the first place. Rewarding yourself with a treat can trigger a dose of dopamine and act as that motivator you need to stick to your gym routine to continue hitting your health goals. (Sorry, we don’t make the rules, it’s science!)
Ready to Fall Back in Love With Fitness?
The back-to-school season doesn't mean waving goodbye to your fitness goals. With a little planning, professional guidance, and some positive reinforcement, you can stay fit while managing the family chaos.
Are you ready to take the next step and fall back into your fitness routine? Stop by The Gym Connection for a free personal fitness consultation with one of our expert trainers. Located conveniently in the hub of Morris County, we're here to make your fitness dreams a reality, no matter how busy life gets. Because remember, life needs you fit. Schedule your risk-free consultation here!
 Berridge KC, Kringelbach ML. Pleasure systems in the brain. Neuron. 2015 May 6;86(3):646-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.02.018. PMID: 25950633; PMCID: PMC4425246.