How to Stay on Track with Fitness Goals During Back-to-School Time

Woman Running on Her NordicTrack Treadmill During Back-to-School Time to Stay on Top of Her Health and Fitness Goals

Since you’ve landed on this article, you’re probably wondering how to stay on track with fitness goals during back-to-school time.

After all, like most people, especially parents of school-aged children, you know firsthand how crazy busy this time of year is.

Often, exercising and working towards your fitness goals takes a backseat.

But, since you’re here, you’ll soon see it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ll show you how to keep your fitness on track during back-to-school season, how to stay fit during the school year, and how to get back on track if you fell off course during the summer months.

10 Tips for Staying on Track with Fitness Goals During Back-to-School Time

Learning how to stay committed to fitness during the busy back-to-school season won’t be as difficult as it seems, thanks to the 10 tips we’re about to share.

Follow these simple strategies, and you’ll have an easier time easing into this season while still reaching your fitness goals:

1. Revisit Your Health Goals

Chalkboard with Fitness Goals Written on it for the Article How to Stay on Track With Fitness Goals During Back-to-School

Since this time of year can be hectic, it’s a good idea to revisit your health goals with a fresh lens.

Think about whether they’re still realistic, given your new schedule.

If you have to prepare lunches before work and drop off your kids at school, you may be short on time when it comes to working out.

Switching to short-and-sweet 20-minute workouts could be a great option if you’re in this boat.

You may also have to adjust when you squeeze in a workout if your mornings are now much busier than they were a few weeks ago.

This pre-back-to-school stretch is a great time to check in with your health goals to see if they’re still realistic, given your current reality.

Once you know your schedule for the school year, you can sit down and revisit your goals to see what needs adjusting, and you can come up with a plan of action that makes sense.

Speaking of that… 

2. Have a Plan 

Woman Planning Fitness Goals During Back-to-School Time

With your goals laid out, you can map out how to achieve them.

For example, will you wake up earlier to walk on your treadmill before making breakfast and lunches for your family?

Or will you use your lunch break to take that walk instead?

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it fits in with your schedule and your lifestyle.

Trying to squeeze in two-hour workouts when you only have 30-45 minutes to exercise will make it difficult and stressful to stay consistent.

So be honest about how much time you have to work out and choose exercises that fit your lifestyle.

This is also a great time to switch to done-for-you workouts that have built-in progressions to help you improve your fitness and reach your health goals.

With these, all you have to do is choose a program that interests you, show up ready to work out, and press play.

The planning and exercise selection is already done for you.

This style of working out is great all year round, but it’s especially helpful during back-to-school time since it gives you one less thing to think about.

If you’re looking for progressive workout programs, check out iFIT, a separate paid subscription service offering thousands of great workouts led by expert trainers.

Mom Running on Her NordicTrack Treadmill Before Her Kids Wake Up During Back-to-School Time

Once you have your exercise program picked out, try to map out when you’ll work out on your calendar and stick to it just like you would a doctor’s appointment or any other important commitment.

Doing so ensures you don’t let your fitness goals slip just because life gets busy.

One way to do just that is to follow this next tip.

3. Set Yourself Up for Success

One of the hardest things about consistently exercising is showing up.

Once you’re there and moving, getting into it and powering through is much easier.

But getting there is half the challenge.

To make this step easier, visit your plan the night before to see which workout you’ll do the next day and get everything ready before bed.

Lay your workout clothes, shoes, socks, towel, and anything else you need to work out the night before, so all you have to do is wake up, grab everything, and go.

Woman Sleeping in Bed Getting Enough Rest for Back-to-School Time

And if you’re opting for early-morning workouts, the best thing you can do is get to bed earlier so that you’re not too tired to work out when your alarm goes off.

If you’re struggling to get out of bed to exercise, it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. 

Going to bed a little earlier each night may help you wake up feeling a bit more refreshed and ready to work out. 

Another thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to opt for at-home workouts instead of hitting the gym, as mentioned a moment ago.

4. Consider At-Home Workouts

Mom Using a NordicTrack Elliptical to Stay on Track with Her Fitness Goals During Back-to-School Time

Save yourself time and stress by skipping your drive to the gym and opting for at-home workouts instead.

Having a set of light and medium dumbbells and your favorite workout machine, such as a treadmill or exercise bike, is all you need to get started.

Then, you can either spend the time you would driving to the gym sleeping in or squeezing in a few extra minutes of your workout in.

As mentioned in tip two, you can choose an at-home workout program to follow, such as those found in iFIT’s massive workout library, where all you need to do is show up and press play.

Save the drive and workout at home instead; you may find it easier to consistently squeeze in a workout more often than not.

5. Start Your New Routine a Week or Two Before School Starts

One of the best tips you can take away for back-to-school season is to get back in the groove before the first week of school.

Getting on a track a week or two earlier means you’ll avoid the hecticness and craziness that comes with everyone else rushing to get back on track too.

By the time school starts you’ll already be in a nice, healthy rhythm and ready to go.

Image of a School Building in the United States

On top of starting your workout routine a week or two before school starts, make a couple of dry runs to school so that everyone in your household is prepared for what’s ahead.

This can also help everyone get back on track by waking up early and getting ready for school on time, which is a double win.

6. Create Some Non-Negotiables

Another great back-to-school tip is to be firm in your commitment by creating some non-negotiables.

This can be as simple as never missing a Monday workout, always taking the stairs, or committing to a family walk after dinner.

You can also opt to do some form of exercise each day, no matter what your day brings.

Whatever makes sense for you and your family is a great start, so choose what’s best for you and make this a new non-negotiable so that you’re always progressing towards your fitness goals.

7. Work on Some Easy Wins

Try not to stretch yourself too thin by overcommitting to a workout plan that’s unrealistic with your schedule or stage of fitness.

Instead, focus on some easy wins you can accomplish today to build a positive momentum that helps you stay consistent.

For example, you could start with 10 to 20 minutes of exercise during your first few weeks of getting back into the groove and eventually bump this up by five or 10 minutes each week after that to eventually hit 30 minutes or more.

These easy wins will get you one step closer to your goals without being too complicated or overwhelming, which is perfect for this season. 

8. Give Yourself Some Grace and Be Realistic

Even if you follow all of these tips to a T, there may be days when exercise doesn’t happen, and that’s okay! That’s life sometimes.

In these instances, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself some grace, and make a commitment to yourself that you won’t let these hiccups completely derail you.

As soon as possible, get back on the wagon and move on like it never happened instead of quitting altogether.

If you’re consistently missing the mark, it may be time to reevaluate your plan again to see if it’s realistic right now or if it needs some tweaking.

Tapering back your efforts to create some easy wins, as mentioned a moment ago, can help you build back that positive momentum and some confidence that you got this!

9. Balance Out the Stress and Craziness with Yoga and Mindfulness Workouts

iFIT  Trainer Meditating on a Beach and Practicing Relaxation and Stress-Reducing Techniques

It’s no surprise that back-to-school can be a stressful and crazy time of the year.

To better manage this, weave in stress-reducing activities like yoga and meditation to help you relax and recharge.

Yoga is helpful both physically and mentally, and both yoga and meditation can help teach you to be more in the present moment instead of worrying too much about the past or the future, making them both great additions to this part of the school year.

iFIT  Trainer Meditating on a Beach and Practicing Stress-Reducing Techniques While Holding Her Heart Center

For some yoga and mindfulness meditations, check out the following from iFIT:

  1. Costa Rica Transformative Yoga Series with Thalia Ayres Randolph
  2. Jamaica Hatha Yoga Series with Faith Hunter
  3. A Journey for the Soul Yoga Series with Julie Piatt
  4. Yoga for Runners with Jeni DelPozo
  5. Hawaii Walking and Meditation Series with Jamie Mitchell and Emi Erickson
  6. Panama Meditation Series with Faith Hunter
  7. Montana Meditation Series with Nicole Meline

10. Celebrate Your Wins

Mom Waking Up Early to Workout Before Her Kids Are Up for School and As the Sun Rises

Lastly, but just as important, don’t forget to celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small they may be.

Did you manage to get in 10 minutes of walking each day?

Way to go!

Or did you wake up earlier three out of the five days to do some strength training?

Nice job!

No matter how big or small your accomplishments are, they’re worth noting and keeping track of, especially on those days when your motivation is low.

After a few weeks, you’ll be able to look back and see just how far you’ve come, and all of those accomplishments will add up, getting you closer and closer to your fitness goals.

So celebrate those wins, and don’t give up! You got this.

Here’s What to Do If You Fell Off the Workout Wagon Over Summer

If you’re wondering, how do I get back on track with my fitness goals?, this next set of tips is for you.

For starters, don’t beat yourself up if you skipped working out altogether over the summer.

It’s natural to experience ebbs and flows with your exercise routine, and as long as you don’t give up entirely, you’ll be in good shape.

To get back on track, use these strategies as soon as possible:

  1. Adjust your mindset by envisioning yourself getting back on track.
  2. Focus on what you can do today and move forward and get to it.
  3. Commit to getting back on track starting today, not tomorrow or Monday.
  4. Reset your goals based on where you’re at today, not where you were six or more weeks ago.
  5. Come up with a new plan that eases you back into working out versus trying to go too hard to make up for lost time.
  6. Show up, and don’t give up. You’re human! It’s okay to fall off every now and then. The key is to get back on track as soon as you can.

The Bottom Line

It’s often far too easy to let your exercise routine slip through the cracks during the busy back-to-school season, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to successfully and consistently weave exercise into your jam-packed schedule.

While it may not be easy at first, you’ll likely find it’s worth it to do in the end.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.