Marsh column: Returning to exercise routine

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 18, 2008

By Ester Marsh
For the Salisbury Post
Q. I was on a regular workout program before school was out. Since the kids have been out of school I have been doing nothing, other than hanging at the pool and playing around. I want to get back into my routine but I have no motivation. What do I need to do?
A. Well, first of all just wait another week before school actually starts! This way you can get your kids ready for school.
Now look at what you were doing before the summer started. Did you attend classes? If you did, can you take the same class after being off for almost three months? Most classes will give you different options and levels but can you modify?
If you know that you will go all out the first time, find a class that is less intense than what you were doing before the summer vacation started. I promise you, your body will thank you and it will be a lot easier to get back into your “normal” routine again.
You are not getting back into it faster by going hard. What you will accomplish is not being able to move for numerous days, and that will discourage you from going back.
Get back into your workout routine slowly.
If you were doing weights before the summer vacation, do the same workout but with fewer weights and sets.
Example: If you were used to doing 3 sets of 12 reps using 40 pounds, do 2 sets of 12 reps using 25-30 pounds.
If you were exercising five days a week, start with three days a week. Before you know it, you will be back into the game!
Now to prevent inactivity the next time the kids are out of school for a long time, I encourage you to try the following:
While your kids are playing in the pool, do 20-45 minutes of water exercise.
For example:
– Run in place.
– Alternate kicks to the front.
– Alternate kicks side to side.
– Do the twist!
– Jump and bring both knees up to the front (remember, you are in the water and have buoyancy).
– Jump and bring both knees to one side and then the other.
– Do jumping jacks
– Run while bringing your arms in and out.
– Run while pushing your hands down.
– Pretend you are cross country skiing.
– Jump side to side.
– Jump front to back.
– Kick left leg forward and right leg back.
– Kick right leg forward and left leg back.
– Kick both legs to the left then to the right.
These are just some moves you can do in the water. You can time them or count and perform each exercise 25-30 times.
This will help you stay in shape so when the kids go back to school you can jump right back into your regular routine.
Ester Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or