With less than a month to go until the start of the school summer holidays (and for Scotland they have already begun…), parents across the land will be beginning to plan for (or panic about!) the coming months. Juggling work and childcare – all while trying to create special memories for your children –requires some serious organisation skills. When you have so many different plates to spin, exercise can often be one of the first things to slip. In this blog we look at the things you can do to ensure you still get that regular dose of endorphins and end the summer on a happy and healthy note, rather than as a frazzled mess!
Prioritise and plan
Exercising regularly can be tricky at the best of times but with holidays, family gatherings, days out and additional childcare duties thrown into the mix over summer, it is crucial to prioritise and plan ahead: – Get it in the diary: Just as you put trips away or family days out in the diary think about when you would like to exercise and make sure this is in a calendar that everyone in the family can see too. – Embrace early morning exercise: Consider kick-starting your day with a workout. Not only will this ensure you don’t miss it due to unexpected events later on, it will energise you for the day ahead and create some valuable me-time before the chaos of the day ensues.
-Stay Flexible: If impromptu plans disrupt your routine, don’t fret! Adaptability is the key to success. Look for opportunities to be active throughout the day, such as taking a family walk after dinner or incorporating active games during your outings.
Get your children on board with exercise
This one can be easier said than done, depending on the age and willingness of your children, but getting them out and about and encouraging them to be active with you benefits the whole family.
– Re-brand it: If children think they’re being forced to exercise they may resent it, but choose fun activities like family bike rides, nature walks or a rounders game at the local park, and they won’t even realise what they’re doing.
– Turn it into a challenge: Could you create a family summer sports challenge with prizes (or medals) along the way? Choose different activities for each age group and consider creating a chart to show progress. Stickers are always a great motivation for younger children, or you could make the reward a day out at a theme park of their choice at the end of the summer. Alternatively, Virtual Runner offers a range of challenges suitable for all ages and abilities with the added incentive of the bling.
Incorporating exercise into your holiday
If you’re lucky enough to be going away for a week or two during the summer it can mean exercise goes completely out of the window during that time. Sometimes that break is no bad thing but there are lots of ways to stay active while you’re away if you still need your exercise fix.
-Exploring the great outdoors: Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and enjoy walks or bike rides. An early morning coastal run or dip in the sea is a great way to take in the scenery before the crowds arrive.
-Make the most of the water: When the heat is on sometimes the only thing you can do is take to the water. Swimming, surfing, paddleboarding or kayaking can be fantastic workouts that keep you cool and active.
-Look for local fitness classes or facilities: Many holiday resorts will offer fitness classes or gym facilities as part of your package. Alternatively seeking out what the locals do to make the most of their surroundings could turn exercise into some of the most memorable moments of your holiday – sunset yoga on the beach? Tick. Guided hikes in the hills? Yes please!
The summer holidays are a busy time and the pressure for everyone to be having fun can feel overwhelming, making it tempting to skip exercise. But, if you’re feeling stressed, a good workout could be just what you need, releasing endorphins, clearing your mind and helping to recharge your batteries. A bit of advance planning, a willingness to mix things up and some creative-thinking around how you get your exercise fix could not only make your summer easier and less stressful but create some fantastic memories too.