Wrapping Up the Dog Days of Summer


If you’ve seen my recent Facebook and Instagram posts, you’ll know that we just added Tyson to our family. This 9-week old fur ball has brought both many joys and a few challenges to our lives.

If you haven’t had a puppy before, you should know that puppies are just like babies, getting up multiple times in the wee hours of the night. And considering it’s been over 9 years since I’ve had to do that, my lack of sleep has definitely taken a toll.

Each time I woke up, all I could think was, “I only have a week before school starts--that’s only one week before our schedules get even busier. How in the “you-know-what” am I going to survive on no sleep?!”

Lucky for me, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Tyson is now only getting up once a night, leaving lots of ZZZ’s for me. Getting back on a normal sleep schedule has made me feel like a new person--I even feel ready to take on the back-to-school craziness!

I’m sure many of you are excited, but anxious to really get back into a routine that a new school year brings. However, I know changing routines from the lazy days of summer to crazy kids’ schedules can be challenging, especially if you are also trying to recharge your fitness.

To make this transition less overwhelming, I thought I would share a few tips that are helping me get ready to not only take on the new school year, but also hit my fitness goals head on!

1. Fine-tune your sleep habits. I know the Olympics (and in my case, a cute puppy!) have been keeping us up late at night, but in order to get everyone out the door on time in the morning, you’re going to have to let the DVR take over and get to bed earlier. Not only do your children need to adjust their sleep schedule for school, so do YOU! Have everyone read a book instead of watching TV, darken your rooms as much as possible, and try starting everyone’s bedtime routine 30 minutes earlier. (Plus, lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your waistline.)

2. Plan ahead. This tip is critical to avoid feeling overwhelmed. After dinner each night, pack lunches and snacks for you and the kids. Only sit down to watch the new fall tv shows AFTER you’ve done this. :) Remember to plan meals and snacks around a good serving of protein and include fresh fruit and veggies. You can save even more time by planning enough food from a healthy dinner for left-overs at lunch. Don’t forget to set lay out your workout clothes and water bottle!

3. Start your day with breakfast. Again, focus on the protein and add some healthy carbs (like fruit or oatmeal) to energize your day. I always hear “I don’t have enough time to fix breakfast.” I know for a fact that it takes less time to put a couple eggs on the stove or blend some protein and fruit in a blender, than it does to sit in a drive-through for a breakfast sandwich or run into your favorite coffee shop. Although your time may feel crunched, try a little multi-tasking. Women are queens of multi-tasking! My mornings look like this: While cooking my eggs on the stove, putting my oats in the microwave, and brewing coffee in my Keurig, I pull out everyone’s snacks and lunch prepared from the night before and get them into everyone’s bags for school and work. No wasted time!

4. Schedule your movement. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get a minimum of 2 strength trainings AND at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Exercise is not only good for your figure, but it is also has a positive impact on your stress level. When you are scheduling your kids’ games, practices and music lessons in your google calendar, also schedule your workouts and include a reminder for each event. Making set times to get your exercise in each week will help you establish a good movement habit.

Use these tips and don’t forget to include YOURSELF in your new back-to-school routine. You can’t just expect success, you have to prepare for it.

Your biggest cheerleader,

Natalie

#sleep #stress #planningahead #exercise #protein

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