The date is circled on the family calendar. Everyone in the house is patiently waiting for it, anticipating the freedom of the last day of school and the kick off to summer.

Everyone except you.

You enjoy the pool and evenings on the patio just as much as the next person, but when the kids don’t go to school your schedule goes from simply hectic to hair on fire crazy. With camps, tournaments, birthday parties and the cries of “can’t we do SOMETHING?” you’re summer is anything but a break.

Which is why you’re worried about your workouts. Your time for sweat therapy is after the kids are safely at school and before you hit the grocery store or sit down to review the invoices and do payroll. You feel like you’ve only just gotten your groove back after the holidays and you’re desperate to hold on to the good thing you’ve got going.

How do you keep a summer workout routine when the kids are out of school?

When their schedule shifts yours will too. There is no doubt that things will be different. However, you still need to claim some space that is yours to maintain your progress and keep your sanity. The key avoiding to a summer workout slump is to focus on one or two non-negotiable parts of your routine (three days of strength training for example). Allow yourself some wiggle room for shorter workouts and creative cardio but hold on to your foundational habits.

Here are five strategies to help you stay on track with your workouts and beat the summer workout slump.

  1. Join the Y or local family center. They have so many summer programs that the kids would enjoy or that you could even participate in together. While they play basketball, you can try new workouts with the equipment you don’t have in your home gym.
  2. Find an online program or personal trainer to help you find workouts that fit your new schedule.  Numerous apps and services can provide you an overwhelming array of workout options for the home. But if you need more accountability, an online personal trainer or health coach may be exactly what you need. Working online with a personal trainer provides flexibility and accountability for an on the go unpredictable summer schedule. Learn more about my online personal training programs here or sign up here for my free Ditch The Summer Slump webinar.
  3. Take advantage of the early start (and late sleepers). Chances are your kids sleep in a little later in the summer. If that is the case, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. You can use the time for a quick workout or meditation if you need it. You don’t have to do it every day, but you might find you need it more days than not.
  4. Find childcare. Do you have a high school or college student in the neighborhood who would like to earn a little extra cash? Have them take the kids to the pool or a movie while you get your workout in. Or have them come to your house and stay with the kids while you go to your usual hot yoga class.
  5. Say no. Sometimes you have to say no to one thing to say yes to something more important. Summers should have some unstructured downtime. Every weekend should not be a tournament or a sleepover. Try to make at least one weekend during the summer a family outing – like time at the lake to swim or a hike at a state park. It doesn’t have to be both days, but it’s a great way to be active and perhaps challenge everyone with something new.

Bonus food tip! Since you’re always on the go keep a picnic basket or cooler constantly packed with portable snacks. Load it with things like protein bars, dry roasted edamame, jerky, raw almonds and dried peas. Restock it every week so you are never caught without a supply of healthy food.

A healthy lifestyle is a 365-day commitment. Trying to “take the summer off” is all or nothing thinking that comes from the diet mentality. Not only is it possible to enjoy summer and pursue your healthy striving goals, its key to getting off the diet roller coaster! If you’re not sure how to do it, join me for a FREE webinar on June 5 to learn how to let go of all or nothing thinking and find your middle ground this summer. We’ll ditch the summer workout slump together!

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