Quick & Stress-Free Workout for Stressed-Out, Back-to-School Parents

For parents, the coming of a new school year always brings new challenges. It’s easy to get lost in the stress of it all: a new schedule; the addition of homework, clubs, and sports; and helping your child adjust to the million other demands and responsibilities they face at school.

Unfortunately (and I’m speaking from experience here as a fitness professional AND as a parent!), exercise & other forms of self-care are often the first thing we sacrifice when it comes to dealing with stress. As difficult as it is sometimes, it’s important that we keep self-care near the top of our priority list, because we just can’t take care of others when we ourselves are physically and emotionally wrecked! So, I urge everyone to keep finding time to exercise. It’s a great form of self-care; not only does it keep your body strong, it also has many psychological benefits.

If you’re like me, at this point you’re probably rolling your eyes as you quickly scan this article on your phone as you scarf down a protein bar for dinner in the 2 minute break you have between picking your kids up from two different schools and then driving them across town for volleyball practice. Because, as nice as finding time for exercise sounds, and as much as I believe in it, we also live in the real world and we have to be realistic. Time is a limited resource, so we have to find ways to take care of ourselves that will actually work into our lives in a way that’s comfortable and sustainable.

If that sounds impossible, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered (at least with exercise & workouts—you’re on your own with finding time for bubble baths).

To get you started, here are two great full-body workouts you can knock out in about 20 minutes! You can do either at home (1 workout doesn’t require any equipment), or at the gym (take advantage of our free Child Watch and get some real me-time).

Bridget’s Back-to-School, Quick & Dirty, Full-Body, Stress-Free Workouts:

For both workouts, make sure you warm up before and cool down afterward.

Five minutes of easy cardio like walking or light jogging are a good way to warm-up. To cool down, do about 5 minutes of walking or light jogging, followed by stretching- make sure you get all the main muscle groups from top to bottom, since these are full-body workouts!

Workout 1

Equipment: None needed! Uses body weight only.Structure: Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between each exercise, for a total of 3 rounds (repeat the whole progression 3 times). Rest for 1 minute at the end of each round.Use suggested modifications as needed or for lower impact.

  1. Squat JumpsOptional Modification: Forget the jump and just squat less impact
  2. Push UpsOptional Modification: Come down to knees
  3. Jump lungesOptional Modification: Do reverse lunges (alternate legs) for less impact
  4. Step Ups- Use a solid chair, stair, or step stool at home
  5. Mountain Climbers
  6. Burpees
  7. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat workout (total of 3 times)

In-the-Gym (or At-Home) WorkoutEquipment: A set of dumbbells, at your preferred weightStructure: Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between each exercise, for a total of 3 rounds (repeat the whole progression 3 times). Rest for 1 minute at the end of each round.

  1. Squat Dumbbell Thrusters
  2. Dumbbell Bent Over Row
  3. Alternating Reverse Lunges (add Lateral Shoulder Raise to elevate this exercise)
  4. Step Ups with Dumbbell (add bicep curl at top of step to elevate the exercise)
  5. Mountain Climbers
  6. Burpees
  7. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat workout (total of 3 times)

I hope these help! If you have questions or need some extra help, please feel free to ask one of our trainers on the floor!

Sources:

  • Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for Mental Health. Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 8(2), 106.
  • “Exercise Library.” ExRx.net: Exercise Prescription on Internet, www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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