While we’re all for endless summer around here, the season is inevitably coming to an end. As summer activities are winding down and we’re approaching back-to-school season, we’re waving goodbye to a looser, more laid-back approach to our schedules. We all enjoyed more flexibility to work out when we wanted to, but now we’re back to having to work out when we need to, whenever we can fit it in.
But getting back into a routine is far from the worst thing we’ve ever had to do. It’s not always easy to master a schedule that balances work, play, and healthy living, so here are some quick tips to get you back in the swing of things as we head into fall.
1. Get on a Workout Schedule
Make it easier on yourself and pick a consistent time to work out every day—at least Monday through Friday. That way it’s on your calendar and there will be very few excuses to wimp out.
You can even make a daily workout schedule that you can cycle through each week. The fewer surprises, the better for getting into a routine.
To stick to your schedule, even when you don’t want to, it helps to grab a workout buddy who will keep you motivated and hold you accountable.
And keep it simple to start. Lower the barrier to entry by laying out your workout clothes the night before a morning workout or pack your gym bag for after work.
2. Make Time for R&R
To us, R&R is not rest and relaxation. It’s rest and recovery (relaxation doesn’t hurt either, though).
Stretch, foam roll, ice bath, rehydrate, and get your protein in (PWR LIFT can help with the last two—it’ll rehydrate you quickly post-workout with 10g of protein per bottle). And getting adequate sleep every night (aim for eight hours) is probably the most important piece of the recovery puzzle.
Really, what we’re saying here is that we like to approach our recovery time with the same intensity as we approach our workouts. We recover just as hard.
3. Prioritize Time Management
Fitting in nutrition, work, and exercise every day takes great time management skills. It’s a balancing act, but you don’t have to be perfect right when you start that routine back up again.
While the balancing act requires some planning ahead, ease back into it. Use sticky notes around your house or office or put reminders in your phone calendar or an app.
It also may help to switch it up from your old routines. Don’t be afraid to try working out at a new time or meal prepping instead of starting from scratch every day.
4. Meal Prep
Speaking of meal prepping… it’s a healthy habit that’ll make your life easier when you’re trying to stick to a routine. You won’t have to worry about cooking a fresh and healthy meal every time if you cook in bulk and portion it out for each day of the week. To keep meals from getting monotonous, try cooking a few different meals at once so you’re not eating the same dish every day.
5. Add Big Events to Your Calendar
Here’s another way to prevent your routine from feeling a little too repetitive: put all of the larger life events that you’re looking forward to on your calendar—like an upcoming competition, weekend trip, concert, or birthday. While routines are important for keeping a balance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s also important to keep special days in the mix with the ordinary days. Celebrate the routine wins AND the extraneous wins.
6. Stay Hydrated
When you’re back on the move all of the time, you can sometimes forget to hydrate. According to a study published in Psychological Research, losing just two percent of the water in your body (mild dehydration), can impair your attentiveness, cognitive performance, and short-term memory.
To avoid dehydration, carry a refillable water bottle with you whenever you leave the house so that you’ll have it wherever your day takes you. And for a boost of electrolytes and protein in your day, PWR LIFT makes an excellent, on-the-go hydration option to have on hand at all times.
7. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
The British Journal of Health Psychology says it takes 59 days to form a habit. That’s a lot of days. It’s ok to slip up when you’re getting back at it, and if you do fall off for a day, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Give yourself a break, then make sure you get back on schedule. Who’s to say you don’t form habits in 21 days, 32 days, 58 days? Only you can determine your own fate—but getting back into a solid routine after summer doesn’t have to be daunting. Day by day, friends. Day by day.