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BY BARBARA BRENSEKE

With the start of school approaching, parents will once again be faced with the chaos and craziness of early mornings, homework projects, scout meetings, sports practices and games, as well as, the constant chauffeuring that comes with having kids. The good news is that although you may look a bit crazy when you’re running around the house you are actually getting some exercise.

Even if you have a good start in January and keep your resolve through the summer, come fall – with its endless procession of holidays – even the most dedicated can stop making fitness a priority.

Remember, back-to-school craziness affects parents and kids as schedules change and hours get filled with everything from soccer practice to music lessons. It’s easy to let exercise slide when things get busy. But it is possible to find time for fitness.

Instead of thinking, “I’ll start over in January,” use these three Rs to make September a time to renew your fitness goals.

Re-assess: Consider what you have accomplished so far and what new action you need to take to stay on course with your goals. In addition, evaluate your schedule. How can you fit fitness in with activities and obligations that start in the fall while staying motivated with fewer daylight hours? Fitness centers often create new schedules this time of year. Learn something new…a new exercise class or sport or find a nutrition or health education seminar to attend.

Re-connect: Find ways to re-establish that emotional high toward your goals and keep the momentum going. One-way to do this is to sign up for an event that will complement your health and fitness goals, or help you achieve them. “An event can be a 5K Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, 10K, a triathlon, half-marathon or more extreme events like the Warrior Dash or Spartan Race. This will keep your motivation high throughout the year and will help you stay on track with the kind of lifestyle behaviors that lead to achieving your desired goals. Accomplishing these events also leads to more confidence that will help with the goal-setting, goal-achieving cycle.

Re-assert: Change your mindset from making a resolution to making a commitment. A personal commitment is much more powerful than a resolution, which is often thrust upon us by outside expectations. A resolution is deciding to do or not do something; a commitment is a promise or obligation.

Think about the personal responsibility between the two. When people “promise” or make an “obligation” it puts their credibility on the line, and maintaining one’s credibility has a huge impact on motivation.

As the saying goes, “Just Do It!”

Barbara Brenseke is a strength and conditioning coach and the owner of Train For The Game LI in Bellmore. Barbara has been featured on WALK-FM 97.5 in addition to being published in several Long Island publications. 

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