Keeping up with your fitness routine during the summer IS hard; but NOT impossible. In fact, I’ve done a far better job keeping up with my fitness this summer than I’ve done keeping up with my blog! So if you read Part I, Burgers, Beer and Ice Cream.. OH MY! Three valuable summer fitness tips and Summer Fitness Tips Part 1.5: I Digress, you’ve had a long wait for the final piece. The wait is over.

As you will remember from Burgers, Beer and Ice Cream.. OH MY! Three valuable summer fitness tips, nutrition is the most important factor in your overall fitness. However, you need to fit in the exercise too. Summer is a particularly difficult time for parents to do anything for themselves. Yet, a life with children always has unexpected obstacles. As such, these tips are great year round:

1. Schedule workouts. A quick review of the week will reveal the days that may present challenges. If you realize the obstacles in advance, you can work around them by setting an early alarm or soliciting childcare. If there is a day that squeezing in a workout will cause more stress than benefit: schedule it as your rest day.

Before you fall asleep every night; know the plan for the next day, (including what, when and where).

2. Be flexible. The cat threw up on your pillow and your two year old pitched the mother of all fits because you wouldn’t let her touch it. You spilled your coffee, your running shoes were left out in the rain, there is something that looks like chocolate… (or poop?) on your shorts and you are already late for spin class. Calling an impromptu rest day and mixing a martini sounds pretty good right?

Instead, be creative. Tricep dips off a chair… 60 second wall sit… push ups.. burpees… planks… squat jumps… lunges… All you need is your body and some determination for a great workout.

Fit in what you can, when you can, throughout the day.

3. Remove your children from the equation whenever possible. Children can’t interrupt a workout if they aren’t with you. Do you have built in babysitters, (older siblings)? Is there daycare at the gym or your boot-camp? A ten year old in the neighborhood that will provide an hour of babysitting as a mother’s helper for $5 or $10? Short money to get the kids out of your hair while you do a home workout.
H weighted squat
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4. Have a backup plan… for your backup plan. Consider investing in a home workout DVD series for those days you are stuck at home and too damn tired to invent your own routine.

5. Purchase a pair of dumbbells that can hang out under your desk, (or wherever you spend the most time). As you are waiting for a document to upload, or pondering over where you left your cell phone; grab the weights and pump out a couple repetitions. There are great exercise suggestions on the internet to work every body muscle.

Quick, energetic breaks help you stay on track physically, while also clearing your head before the next task on the agenda.

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6. NEVER. SAY. DIE. Where there is a will, there is a way.

When all else fails…

– Older children may actually join you in the workout. For pre-school age, you can turn the workout into a game of “follow the leader” or “Simon Says.” If their attention wanes and they wander off to do something else… WINNING! You can finish up solo.
– Strap little ones into a stroller and go for a walk or a run. Pick markers (telephone poles, street signs, mailboxes). At each marker, pause to do a repetition of any plyometric exercise, (burpee, squat jump, push-up etc.). If your child loves peek-a-boo, how do you think they will enjoy peek-a-boo burpee? Disappear for a push up and re-appear as you jump up from a squat position.
– Gather a soccer ball, football, scooters and other fun and head to a local track. Kids can play on the field or run the track while you get in a workout.
– Playgrounds have great equipment for both you and your children. Monkey bars are great shoulder work. Swing across them and try some pull-ups. Benches are a great spot for tricep dips. parallel bars provide ab, back, shoulder and tricep possibilities.
– Cartwheels, roundoffs, skipping: all hard to do without smiling and all target muscle groups you don’t likely engage often.
-Join in to your child’s play. Challenge them to a race. See who can hop on one leg longest. Start a game of soccer, football or basketball.

Your determination is your success.