Wondering how to create a workout routine and stick to it, in spite of all the bustle of the start of the school year? We'll help!
“Who had the crazy idea to invent school?”
Doesn't that old chorus really bring you back? Yeah, yeah, school's out... but it'll start again in a few weeks.
Whether or not you have kids, "school" still means starting again. And you must admit that it's often getting back to the rat race. Speaking of races... you might want to get back to running, or just keep up the pace. What about joining a gym or sports club? Or taking the time for walking or cycling?
How can you create a workout routine and stick to it, in spite of your busy schedule? I'll help you face the fall with peace of mind, but I'm not alone - Camille and Cyrille will share their stories as well.
Like Camille, you might not yet have found the physical activity that motivates you to get started! However, Camille confides, “I never really did sports, other than bike riding or roller skating... but even finding time to take one bike ride per week would definitely do me good!”
Good news for you Camille, cycling and skating are sports! And if that's what does you good, you are right to want to do it more often. What's important is to move more on a daily basis and to have fun. Just because you don't feel like crosstraining or running a marathon doesn't mean that sports aren't for you. And then again, you might surprise yourself. ;)
It might also be hard to choose between all the activities that tempt you. Well, what I want to tell you is not to limit yourself! Cyrille has fun cycling, running, paddleboarding, and playing petanque, beach volleyball, and badminton. Yeah, that's it. His tip? He isn't a member of any gyms, which means he can be more flexible about managing his schedule with his two kids.
It's also a way of doing several activities without spending too much or getting over-committed! If that's what would make you happy, read more tips in this article: 10 sports to do without breaking the bank
But nothing is stopping Cyrille. And he's still tempted by clubs: “I went on a ride with a cycling club, and it was really cool”. He's also considering a triathlon. He did his first triathlon in the fall, and help from coaches seemed really significant. As for organisation, he says, “Even if it's just every other week, it's worth a try!”.
The good side of club sports, which could really help Camille, is that it pushes you to be regular. When you have a dedicated time and you've paid for it, we must say that it can be a real helping hand for sticking to a routine. Especially if you're the type who never manages to find the time.
And if you're still feeling lazy, we have an article just for you: Which sport should you do if you're a bit lazy?
“I need to do it, for my physical health... but since I don't really have any free time, or much basic motivation... well... I have even less will to set aside the time.”
It would certainly be easier to tell yourself that to avoid needing to think about a workout routine, manage a schedule, blah blah blah, you just won't make a resolution to work out. But is that really what you want? Really, deep down? Even I can hear the little voice inside you, telling you that you want to feel fitter, more comfortable in your body, and more confident! I'll tell you something: even if it might seem hard, once you've started a good habit, you (almost) never need any more kicks in the butt. Believe me, when you feel in good shape, you want to stay that way. ;)
And to do that, we'll send you our best tips: "Tips for getting motivated to work out"
Referring back to what I was saying above, simply picking a sport you like is one of the best ways to get and stay motivated. But also, most people get a boost of motivation when they don't feel alone. Working out with a friend can help! Except if you're allergic to people, that can happen and you have the right.
BUT if that isn't the case for you, like Camille, who tells me:
“Oh yes, that would definitely help! Because all alone, when you're feeling lazy after a day at work, if there isn't anyone to tell you 'Come on, let's go, we're meeting at this time,' it's all over. You come home and crash on the couch.”
You might need to motivate your next ally. So read this: "How can you help friends or family take up exercise?"
One first solution if you're short on time is to try and move a little bit every day. What if you walk or bike to work? What if you went to buy your Sunday bread (or pastries, let's all agree) on foot? If you made all your phone calls while walking? You can even get a bit of exercise while brushing your teeth. Oh yes, chair exercises against a wall, for example, work very well. The important thing is to avoid being sedentary, and that includes housework or even gardening!
Then, if you've been wanting for ages to try out the Pilates class that Benjamin does every Monday, and the cardio boxing that Leïla's been telling you about, but you can't ever manage to get there: nothing is like blocking some time in your schedule. And to hold you to it, feel free to invite Benj or Leïla, who would love to come along.
When it's really impossible to find the time, home workouts can be the answer. You save the commute time to get to the gym, as well as the time chatting after your workouts, as pleasant as that is. With our without equipment, you have plenty of options for exercises!
Up to you to choose your favourite spot - outdoors when the weather is good, the living room, or the office, there must be a little corner at home that'll do the trick.
And even at home, you can get guidance from the free Decathlon Coach app. Otherwise, we have a lot of exercise ideas for you.
“I've tried exercising at home, but it didn't last. When I'm at home, I always find something else to do…”
Are you in the same boat as Camille? What about instead of home, you did some exercise at work?
If, like Cyrille, you have the opportunity to take advantage of your lunch break to work out, jump at the chance! When your whole team is athletic, it's even better to do it together or work out a schedule between you. Ask your colleagues, you might get a group activity going.
“It also helps a lot to have a team that's physically active. Blocking your schedule lets you organise yourself both personally and professionally.” - Cyrille
You could even propose some physical activity for your next meeting. It's been well-proven that sports help with team bonding and increase productivity!
Cyrille is divorced and has 2 kids, and he's with them every other week. His workout plans depend a lot on his kids' schedules and activities... as with many parents! But he says it himself: “That fits great!”.
He'll share his daily routine, tips, and challenges to help you out.
“The end of the school year and the summer are a real jigsaw puzzle for planning activities” - Cyrille
Cyrille might be a superdad, but everyone has the same struggle!
For him, it was mostly due to registration for football and music last year for Virgile, his 12-year-old son. The schedules weren't communicated until early September. - "I never understood why” - We get it, Cyrille, it's far from ideal for getting organised. We'll take this chance to send a message in a bottle here. ;)
Thank you to Virgile's indoor football club this year, which sent its schedule back in June! For his 6-year-old daughter who will be starting rock climbing, it was ideal: they could choose the day when they signed up.
All that goes to show that despite the challenges, there are still solutions. Sometimes you just need to find the right club, the organisation that suits your schedule, and if possible, not far from school or home!
That is often THE subject that weighs on organising a schedule. It's hard to set up your own routine when you need to work around your kids' or family's schedules. When you don't want to bother the grandparents, godparents, or best friend, you need to look for answers.
When Cyrille's daughter needs to go to rock climbing after school, he leaves the office at 5 pm. He compensates for his work schedule during the weeks when the kids are with their mom. His 12-year-old son takes the bus to football. That allows him to be independent, which frees up precious time for Cyrille.
Last year, he also arranged things with the parents of other kids in the football club to share the drives between training sessions during the week and matches on the weekend. Oh yes, it's all about solidarity!
Another key tip for Cyrille: choose activities for the kids that are close to home.
Here too, this is a way to keep exercising when your kids are with you. Plus, it'll be some extra special time together. ;)
“With the kids, we garden, cycle, and play petanque in good weather. And this year, I'm sure the three of us will go climbing together.”
Those are some cool physical and recreational ideas for activities with kids. And Cyrille, if you want even more ideas for when the weather is good (and not so good), we have plenty here: Physical challenges: activities for kids and parents at home or outdoors.
To feel good every day, regular exercise does a lot, but it isn't everything! Eating well, hydration, getting enough sleep, and relaxation are all habits to cultivate on a daily basis.
Find what is best for you! Nature? Yoga? Reading? Music? Meditation? You're allowed to take time for yourself. And Camille won't tell you otherwise:
“What would motivate me to get started would be to tell myself that it would be time for myself. And that I'll feel much better with a fitter body!”
Creating a routine gives you a better chance to have fun and avoid daily stressors through exercise, rather than creating more stress with an already busy schedule. Tip: See exercise as an outlet, a time to let go that isn't like any other, a form of active relaxation through running, walking, climbing, dancing, or swimming… There are so many activities that help clear your mind. Starting with just once or twice a week is already a good step! It's better to wade in little by little, and then if you miss a week, it's not too bad. You'll enjoy it that much more the next time.
Feeling better on a daily basis will motivate you even more to keep up your workout routine, or your wellness routine more generally. ;)
There you have it - all the tips you need to start a workout routine and stick to it. Now you just need to apply them. Plus… Why wait for back to school?
Thanks again to Cyrille and Camille for sharing their tips and experiences.
So get moving!