How to focus on your fitness during the summer holidays.

For families the summer holidays can be one of the best times of the year but it can also be one of the most stressful for many parents especially mums. Juggling work, childcare, entertainment and everything else can mean your needs move further down the pecking order. By the end of the holidays you feel like you don’t even know where your gym kit is and you are dreading that first workout because you know it’s not going to be fun!!

So how do you fit exercise in during the summer when your normal routine has gone on holiday even if you haven’t!!

First thing; set your expectation – you probably aren’t going to be able to keep up your normal regime and you may not be able to improve your fitness but you might find new ways to train, find shorter sharper workouts that still hit the spot and fabulous ways to involve your little people making it an amazing shared experience. 

What equipment do you have at home?

Don’t worry if you don’t have any equipment at home. Body weight exercises such as press ups, planks, squats and lunges can all add up to make an awesome circuit. For your cardio you can run up and down the stairs, the garden or even running on the spot. 

What time do you have?

Is there a time during the day when you could get some time to yourself? Could you get up earlier? Exercise when your children are having some quiet time? Or could you make your exercise part of your working day (if you are juggling work and children) could you walk to and from work – even if it’s not all the way what about part way or in your lunch? Whatever space you choose TELL EVERYONE!!!!

Why? For many years I have helped ladies exercise; one thing I realised early in my fitness career is if you set your workout time as a non-negotiable people stop finding you other things to do. Now I can hear you say that may work with a 14yr old but not with a 3, 4 or 5year old (it may not apply for your younger/older children too) but you can rally your adults to help! Alternatively find them an activity swimming, dance, gymnastics, gaming programming whatever your child is into then use this time they will be so happy to do “their thing” they won’t care about yours. 

Still struggling for time – can you do exercise swops with a friend. You have their children and then they have yours. 

So; you’ve read all of that and you still can’t see away to exercise away from your children – that’s ok there are some awesome ways to exercise with them.

You just need to have more fun with it. 

You will know many of the common suggestions riding bikes, walking/hiking, swimming or going to the parks. 

But what about……. 

Treasure/bear hunt you can organise this with friends in the local park set challenges for the children get them to race to the finish. Follow the children and they will make you run all day. 

Similar to this is the international game of Geocaching ( which is an organised giant treasure hunt. 

Dance party! Get on your favourite tunes and disco lights and dance until you are hot and sweaty. 

Set up a family & friends sports day include running races, 3 legged races, wheelbarrow races (great for the arms), egg and spoon head back to your childhood and enjoy the day!

Obstacle course in the house, in the garden or in the park. Up and over cushions or sun loungers, round the trees and over benches, up and down sides. Just make sure you make it big enough for adults. Plus, the more over and unders you do the more workout you will get. 

Gardening; get the garden sorted the bigger the job the better. Dig over a patch of soil for veg patch (double bonus with fresh veggies too), cut the grass, clear the leaves, repot plants, move pots around. Any jobs that need doing get the kids involved. 

Still feeling guilty about taking time to exercise? The NHS recommend children 5-18yrs do 60minutes exercise at least 3 times per week with many children falling short of this. As a parent your activity level can directly impact on your child’s likelihood of engaging in physical activity – if they see you exercise they will see it as normal behaviour and will follow in your footsteps. 

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