Kick start your exercise routine – Back to routine

Waving child off to school

September always feels to me a bit like a fresh start, much like we have in January.  As children return to school, we’ve (hopefully) all had a good break and with the heat wave is behind us, it feels like it’s time to get back into a weekly exercise routine. 

As much as it might be a rush to get sorted, for my friends and clients getting their little ones back to school, I think everyone is looking to the return of some structure and routine. This can often mean time back for parents to get their exercise regime back on track, after a fun but disrupted couple of months. 

As you return to more structured exercise, remember to start back slowly, your cardio fitness might have dipped over the last few months, and you might need to spend some time getting back to where you were before the summer. The same also applies if you are starting up a new exercise plan – maybe you’ve never really had a routine you could stick to – remember start slow. As the autumn sets in with cooler temperatures, this is the perfect time of year to be outside exercising, walking, jogging, cycling, anything that gets you out in fresh air and watching the trees change their colours. Maybe try a new activity, lots of exercise classes run in term time and so September is a great time to explore something new.

This is the perfect time to do a fitness challenge. Maybe a 5K run, 10K run (see last month’s blog for event running tips) or a walking challenge – I can highly recommend the Miles for Refugees challenges run by the Red Cross (Miles for Refugees Fundraising tips ( Myself and my best friend did one of their challenges two years ago and we enjoyed it.  We enjoyed it so much we are planning another this year, as we’ve not seen each other that much over the summer with holidays and childcare.  It’s a perfect wat to be accountable, to catch-up and move.

Exercising through the summer is much more about maintenance than improving fitness levels and strength in my experience. Hot weather, disrupted sleep, inconsistency due to holidays and childcare often means that we don’t really see gains in our performance.  The next few cooler months can be a great time to push our fitness on. Training a bit more regularly and using heavier weights can lead us into the winter much fitter. Working with a trainer is a great way to ensure you are progressing and building your strength, as they will look after that in your plan.

With the return of routine, it’s also much easier to plan some really nutritious meals to help you fuel your workouts. Making sure there is a good quality protein, some carbohydrates and plenty of colour on your plate will help you feel really energised. Great nutrition will also help with your sleep quality. Cutting back on sugary drinks and ice creams, now summer has past, replacing them with a herbal tea or snack of nuts and seeds will help sleep, so that you feel ready to work out the next day.

How to get back into routine if you are struggling with motivation

  1. Introduce some accountability, make a commitment with a friend or a trainer.
  2. Diarise the times you can fit in exercise. Put the time aside rather than leave it until you run out of time later in the week.
  3. Prioritise you love doing, you are much more likely to stick to an exercise you enjoy.
  4. What barriers are there that you might experience? Things like other calls on your time, tiredness and distractions – have a think about how are you going plan to and how it will make you feel if you do succeed. You’ll likely have more energy, improved sleep, increased sense of mental wellbeing and reduced stress.

If you’ve tried the above and you still need some help, get in touch to find out how my 1:1 sessions will help you to achieve your fitness goals.  

Sara McDonnell

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