A new school year means new and exciting challenges for both parents and students alike. For parents, that could mean keeping their kids rested and well-fed so that they have the energy to tackle whatever new challenges their teachers have in store for them. For students, it probably means hours and hours of intense study sessions with the hope of earning a report card with A's from top to bottom. With back-to-school season in full swing, it is high time we set some resolutions for the new school year!
Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions? Did you resolve to stay in shape or shed a few pounds? Those are the most popular resolutions year-after-year1. However, 80-percent of people tend to lose track of those goals after just six weeks2. However, this is not January 1st and with less seasonal pressure weighing on your shoulders this time of year setting a “school, season resolution” might prove a more successful methodology for success.
Here are four tips for success with your school season resolutions:
1. Get a head start on winter
Staying fit and losing weight are two of the most common resolutions because of the holidays when we typically indulge in too much eggnog and pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the winter season does not enable us to get outside and burn those excess pounds. Not only is it the coldest time of the year, but it is also one of the darkest, with the sun being out less than 10 hours a day in most parts of the U.S.
As school starts up again, you can get a head start on staying healthy before winter takes effect. There are a ton of great outdoor activities to do during the autumn, like hiking and apple picking. Exercising outdoors might feel even better when temperatures start to dip. Think outside the box and organize outdoor events for classes that are typically held in the studio. Invite your students to join you for an outdoor mat class over the course of September and October. You could even try adding a new spin to a course such as the Chair class; as the MVe chairs are lightweight and designed to be easily transported, including outside. So get out there and take advantage of the autumn weather; see how much better you and your student will feel with some fresh air! As Joseph Pilates said, “never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air that you can.”4
Get out there and enjoy the autumn weather!
2. Think small
Setting long-term goals can be daunting. You'll never know what obstacles you might face. It may be best to start with short-term goals over the last four months of the year to reignite your passion and get on the right path to a healthier life.
A great place to start is with planning your meals. If you have kids, you already know what you are going to pack them for lunch every morning. Set the same schedule for yourself; plan what you're going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. You can then adjust your grocery list accordingly and avoid any scenarios where you are out of food and tempted to go out, or indulge in an unhealthy snack. These small steps can lead to huge boosts in your diet and energy.
3. Turn everyday chores into activities
Out of all of the challenges the back-to-school season presents, perhaps the toughest is getting ready every morning. Between getting the kids dressed or sitting in traffic on your way to work, it can feel like a chore. But it does not have to be! Try to find a new route to-and-from school to give yourself a varied and active start to each day. If the school is close by, why not walk or bike to school with the little ones? What about walking to the nearest bus or train station instead of sitting in your car for hours on end?
These types of small adjustments to your daily commute not only get you up and active, but can even save you time! However, unfortunately for some of us, there is just no avoiding traffic no matter how hard we try. If that is the case, just being aware of your posture at all times, whether sitting or standing, can be a simple but significant adjustment to your daily routine. Instead of slouching over the steering wheel half asleep, sit up straight and engage your core; you'll be surprised how fast you notice a difference in your posture.
4. Get your kids involved
Time - it is the biggest excuse for why we don't exercise more often3. We never seem to have enough of it. Obviously, most kids take up a lot of that time, and with school back in session, it is probably safe to say that your time will be even more limited.
So why not get your kids involved in your exercise routine? Go to your local playground and use the equipment yourself while the little ones run around. While the kids are on the slide, use low bars for pull-ups or reverse rows. If the park or playground has some open space, bring an exercise mat and a lightweight prop while the kids play in some leaf piles. What’s most important is that you are getting up and out with your kids this fall.
1 “This Year’s Top New Year’s Resolution? Fitness!!”, last modified January 8, 2015, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html
2 Joseph Luciani, “Why 80 Percent of New Year's Resolutions Fail,” U.S. News and World Report, December 29, 2015, accessed September 7, 2016, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail
3 Karen Springen, “Top 6 Exercise Excuses and How to Beat Them,” WebMD, accessed September 7, 2016, http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/the-top-6-exercise-excuses-and-how-to-beat-them#1
4 Peak Pilates 2016/2017 Brand Catalog