Reduce Stress

by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Director

As a mom, it’s hard enough keep up with exercise without all the added stress thrown in. Here are eight ways to maintain your fitness and your sanity throughout the craziness of back-to-school season.


  1. Manage Your Stress

I’ve found doing an activity every day, just for the sake of enjoyment, is one of the best ways to minimize stress. Before the school year starts, sit down and make a list of ten activities you enjoy. Here are some examples…. exercise, yoga, dancing, hot bath with essential oils and magnesium salts, reading a book or magazine.  Every day, try to fit in at least one of these things for a minimum of thirty minutes.

  1. Eat Food You Like

A healthy diet won’t be sustainable if you don’t enjoy the food you eat. During this busy time of year, it can become even easier to slip into bad eating patterns.  Instead, practice moderation while slowly incorporating healthier food options.  There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods out there, so don’t settle for bland and boring just because it’s good for you.

  1. Play With Your Kids

It shouldn’t be hard to play with your kids, but sometimes it can be difficult to go from get-things-done mode to play mode. Challenge yourself to make that transition once a day. Losing yourself in play and forgetting about all the things that need to be done will go a long way in easing anxieties and worries you might have. I also find taking breaks throughout the day to play with my kids brings a new and refreshing perspective when I come back to my work.  Physical play presents some opportunities to get in a few exercises with your kids as well.

  1. Move Some Weight

I am amazed at how many moms I come across who don’t engage in some type of resistance training. That can mean anything – bodyweight exercise, kettlebells, or Olympic lifts. Not only is moving weight around regularly good for your health – bone and joint health in particular – but it also relieves stress. It doesn’t have to complicated and require a lot of equipment, either.

  1. Stock Your Home Gym

You might intend to make it to the gym three days a week once the kids are in school, but that’s often easier said than done. Set yourself up for success by investing in equipment for use at home.

  1. Walk Every Day

Walking is an easy activity to do every day.  Walking helps balance the pelvis and relieve stress. It’s also something you can do anywhere, with or without your children. Aim to walk briskly for at least thirty minutes.

  1. Sleep Whenever Possible

Sleep-need I say more… If possible, take naps during the day with your younger children. Go to bed at least eight hours before you need to wake up. That way, even if your kids keep you up for two hours at night, you’ll still get in a minimum of six hours of sleep.

  1. Set Goals and Reward Yourself

Having small-scale goals that fit into the big picture is a helpful way to make sure you accomplish the things that are most important to you.  This applies to all aspects of life, especially fitness!  And don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve your goals.