Q: I always have trouble keeping up with my workout schedule when the kids go back to school. Any suggestions?
Brandon Marsh answers
A: Though I’m not a parent myself, I know what it’s like balancing a training schedule with family, travel and work responsibilities. I’ve learned a few ways to make do, which partly depend on these “other” commitments and partly depend on your dedication to change. To keep it easy, try taking one adjustment at a time. You can build from there…
You can incorporate all three of these methods or choose one. Your pick!
1. Turn back the clock. Your alarm clock, that is. Sleep is NOT overrated, but getting up before the kids will help guarantee you get that workout in. If you can, turn off the TV and shut down any electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to help you fall asleep faster. It may take a few days — even weeks — for your body to adjust to a shifted sleep schedule, but it will catch up. If you really need to ease into it, start by waking up early only 3 days out of the work week or 4 days out of the 7. You can always add more early days later.
2. If you build it, you can use it. An at-home workout area is a nice perk if you have the space for one. Maybe an unused guestroom or even a corner of the living room can be designated for a bike trainer, treadmill or elliptical. If you’re limited on square footage, carve a spot for a few dumbbells, stability ball and yoga mat. Perhaps the biggest plus to this is setting a good example for your kids. Who knows? They may even want to join you!
3. Chip, chop! Cutting up veggies or pre-cooking rice or pasta can be lifesavers when it comes to eating in a hurry (which is inevitable once school starts). A couple of our favorite items to keep on hand are browned ground meat, corn tortillas, rice, canned beans and salsa. We also store an assortment of pre-washed, packaged greens. With these simple ingredients, you can make a ton of dishes — including our favorite “Chipotle-Style Mexican Bowls.” Essentially, crush up the tortillas and throw the beans, meat and greens into a large bowl. Divide among salad-sized bowls and top with salsa for a perfectly healthy, well-rounded meal in minutes!