Fall into New Habits
By Lee Sandford
I have for a long time called September and back-to-school, the real “Mommy’s New Year”. It heralds resolutions as much as the calendar New Year does, like calm and organized mornings, meal plans, and a pot of sharpened pencils by the homework station.
This September sees many households with both parents working from home, and whole families that have been home together for six months. With kids’ summer camps and college internships canceled, this resulted in a free-for-all of a summer in my house anyway — no one quite knowing any more the acceptable parameters for bedtime, mealtimes, and certainly not cocktail hour.
But as school resumed and college kids went back to campus, however that looked, I know we all craved our “New Year” more than ever.
At the top of many people’s lists is their health and fitness regimen. As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, it was revelatory to hear that lack of time is no longer what people think stands in their way of exercise; in the absence of routine, they struggle to set the time aside.
Here are some tips for countering the slump and making this a healthy and fit fall.
This one is pretty simple, and though I hate to date myself, the best way is “just do it” and you’ll see. I assure you that you’ll feel better after any kind of exercise, now more than ever. If you don’t, feel free to track me down and tell me I was wrong, but I’m afraid it’s a scientific fact.
When you go to sleep, and you’ll sleep better that night, note how much improved your mood and stress levels were, and resolve to do something the next day too. One foot in front of the other…
Your new routine
My husband has been using his commute time to cycle on his bike frame in our basement, listening to podcasts as he would in the car. Figure out where you’ve gained time this fall, through lack of commute or kids being back at school and put it to good use. Routine and consistency are two of the most important contributors to success on your fitness journey.
The closing of gyms was a big loss for people. The accountability factor of a gym is huge. But classes are coming back. Rye resident Sami Mannapperuma said that with a young daughter and working full-time she had to get creative in how to fit in her workouts. She told me, “Things came together when I set aside a couple of times in the week to participate in classes and mixed that with my own things, like walking with my daughter or dogs after work.”
At last call for class suggestions on social media, outdoor classes were being held by the Rye YMCA, Rye Recreation, Rye Health and Fitness, Trinity Fitness, Healthy Fit, Lifetime Athletic, P45 in Port Chester, Thryve at Rye Town Park, and Zumba by Martha Oceguera at Crawford Park.
Sign up for a challenge
For more flexibility, but making you stick to a program, sign up for a virtual race. Especially one in support of your favorite charity. Lindy Wolverton of Harrison is taking part in her second virtual race this fall, 400 miles of running or walking between September 8 and December 24. She assured me her first challenge sign-up was a great source of motivation and now that her team is racing in support of Carver Center, she is even more inspired. Go to runsignup.com for details.
Technology can help
Working from home means it’s hard to “get your steps in” in the absence of even a walk to the conference room or water cooler. A fitness tracker will help with that and more ambitious goals. Measurability is, after all, one of the linchpins to successful goalsetting. So, if stats are your thing, treat yourself.
Engage a pro
It’s okay to admit you need help! When it comes to sticking to time slots, keeping energy levels up during a workout, or just technical help with your form on a squat or bicep curl, a personal trainer can provide that and more. As Sonal Shah told me, “Having a specific day and time in my calendar with my trainer has made an enormous difference. It actually gives me the ability to say that I am taking this one hour of time to better myself physically and mentally. Which is ultimately a win-win for my whole family.”
What a great thought. Happy fit fall.