Contributed by: Michael Devon, B.A., NASM-CPT

Back to school can be a trying time for any parent juggling their work schedule with their kid’s school schedule, after school care, and sports practice. Luckily, there is still a way to carry on a healthy lifestyle.

First, you will have to plan, and then re-work your plan because, let’s face it, plans change and life always gets in the way. Set up your schedule each week, from the time you get out of bed each morning, when you will make time to meal prep, and how much time you will dedicate to exercise, and of course everything else that you need to take care of.

Second, be realistic when planning your week and don’t beat yourself up if one day doesn’t go as planned. Remember, you planned that things won’t always go as planned- so what’s your back up plan? No use dwelling on what should have been, move forward with your day and stick to the rest of your plan to the best of your ability. Also, don’t be afraid to adjust and reschedule certain things as your week unfolds, as the saying goes, roll with the punches.

I recommend laying out the week ahead and prioritizing the things that NEED to get done, like your job, important appointments, taking care of your family, and your health- because you can’t take care of everything you need to if you always feel run down. Outline, either on paper or in your head, some possible meals you can make this week and how much time you should budget to prepare them. Make sure you schedule time for a minimum of two exercise days, anything more is up to you and your schedule that week, to take care of your physical and mental health. Once you have all of the necessary to do items scheduled out- then, when you have free time that week, you can plan to do things that you WANT to get done, like reading a chapter in your book, bathing your dog, playing with your kids, and getting a bonus day of cardio in! As your good friend, Benjamin Franklin, would say; “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

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