HEALTH + WELLNESS // Mommy Bootcamp

with the kids at camp, it’s time to jumpstart your fitness 

Summer camp freeing up some alone time for you this summer? Take charge of your own wellness by committing (or recommitting) to fitness while the kids are away having fun. While you may be motivated by the best of intentions, it’s never a good idea to go unprepared into the great unknown of “me time.” Here’s what you can do to increase your odds of finding and sticking to a new fitness routine this summer.

fitness first

Plan to make exercise the first accomplishment of your day. If you’re dropping your kids off at day camp, suit up in workout gear. Do not shower or put on make up; it will only make it more difficult to get sweaty when you return home. Schedule and complete your exercise early and you’ll be more efficient the rest of the day. No worrying about when you’ll fit it in, just basking in the afterglow of a hard earned sweat. 

set goals

Take some time to determine what you want to accomplish during the week, month, or (gasp!) summer of camp activities. Consider anything from daily workouts to new distances or durations. Whatever your chose, make sure you move out of your comfort zone — even if that means just tipping your toe over the line. If you’re new to fitness, you might want to employ the advice of a trusted friend or a personal trainer to establish reasonable goals. Once you’ve established an attainable goal, write it down and commit.

try something new

Consider yourself relatively fit? Perhaps you’ve been running or walking regularly for years. Use this time to investigate other forms of exercise that challenge your body in new ways. Check out everything from mind-body workouts like yoga and tai chi to more traditional cardiovascular activities like biking and running. The key is to awaken your body to new challenges and appeal to the exploratory child living inside you.

team up with a friend

Hold yourself accountable to workouts by finding a partner in crime. If you don’t have friends with similar interests or schedules, look for women at your local community center or health club. Participating in group fitness classes is a great way to get to know others and be held accountable to your fitness resolutions.

make sure they see your sweat

Actions speak louder than words, which is another reason to don your workout attire before dropping your kids off at day camp. Kids with fit parents are more likely to value fitness themselves, so if they don’t get a glimpse of you in motion make sure you tell them about your day at camp, too.

clean house

All this talk about fitness isn’t complete without mention of nutrition. If you’re alone in the house during the day, eliminate your biggest temptations for unhealthy eating. Get rid of the chips and that stash of secret candy lest you fall victim to their appeal while you’re home alone. Do this ahead of time and replace with healthful alternatives. 

Laurie Lethert Kocanda is co-author of the book Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel 2011). She lives and blogs ( in Minneapolis with her husband and two young daughters.

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