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The Summer Expanse + Fall Renewal

As we transition back to school and the regular routine, as moms, some of us will suddenly realize that we have our lives back! We get up earlier, go to bed earlier, and whoa, we get a whole 8 hours of no children? What will I do with all this time???


(Well, besides work, of course. And cooking breakfast, and cooking dinner, and packing lunches, and doing laundry, and vacuuming, and emptying the dishwasher, and and and…..)


Maybe you had one too many mai tais by the pool, or maybe your entire exercise regime uh, didn’t happen. Whatever the reason or cause, now that you have a solid chunk of time, MAYBE it’s time to try and do something for yourself again?



Where to start? I’m here to help!


Don’t have time to get to the gym? Here are some ideas to get moving:

  • Take a lap (around the school) after drop-off. Chances are, your child’s school is starting a lot earlier than whatever summer camp he was in. This means, you know, have an hour of child-free time. Even if you took 2 laps around the school grounds, it’ll still give you plenty of time to go home, shower, and sit down in front of the laptop by the first meeting.


  • Do “walking” coffee breaks. Instead of walks to the break room/micro kitchen, take a walk around the block, or downstairs to the barista in the furthest building from you. Coffee AND walking, great way to get those heart rate pumping


  • Keep some exercise/resistance bands by your desk (at home), in the car, even in your laptop bag! Waiting in the car at pickup? Do a set of rows. Calling the DMV/IRS/any 800 number? Do some overhead presses! In an all hands meeting (via zoom)? Bicep curls. Not only will it keep you from falling asleep; it’ll also keep those muscle mass, which is critical to maintaining a healthy weight


  • Netflix and chill? Instead of chilling, do 10 pushups! Just 10. Then once that gets easier, do 20. Push Ups too hard? Do lunges and side lunges. You can even keep moving while sitting down. Check out Youtube for exercises you can do, literally from the couch



Got an hour to spare? Find a gym near you and:

  • Hire a trainer. It’s not about the money, it’s about accountability. Having a trainer will keep you from that “I’ll just take a rest day today” place. As long as you know someone is expecting you, you’ll keep showing up. Plus, a trainer will be able to show you how to use the exercise equipment in the gym SAFELY and properly, so when you go back on your own, you can do the same exercises without hurting yourself. Finally, most trainers will provide you with “workouts for the week” so you can continue to exercise on your own


  • Join a class. For some of us, peer pressure/peer encouragement makes the experience rewarding and fun! My bestie does a Metabolic Workout 3 times a week and now the people from the workout group are some of her best friends. I joined a Zumba class and now my life is filled with activities with my “zumbies." It’s become more of a lifestyle than a workout!


  • Join a local team/league. Used to play tennis in high school? There’s probably a tennis club in your city. Same for swimming, golf, pickle ball, soccer, you name it. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find someone else that enjoys the same thing, likely in your neighborhood.




Hate gyms? Go for a run/hike/swim. Don’t like all the chatter, already have too many friends? Enjoy the solitude of the tracks/trails/lane in your own time. Every city has a pool that offers lap swim/masters; if you live in the Bay Area, there are more trails available than you can ever imagine to run/hike on. Enjoy the peace & quiet out there.




How about the weekend? Keep it up!

Make a goal to do something active with your whole family every weekend! Go for a family walk/hike/bike ride. On super hot/smoky/rainy days, do a family workout on Youtube! Ask the kids to keep you accountable, too! Instead of getting ice cream for dessert, ask them to share a sweet memory from the summer break.





And lastly.... We often "reward" ourselves with even more food, or an extra glass of wine at dinner. Take this opportunity to try something different:

  • Go for a walk right after dinner. We often go on a "scavenger hunt" with our kids: how many colors of rainbow can you find? How many different birds do you see?

  • Go through the summer photos together and create photo books! You can do this easily at https://photos.google.com/printstore

  • Ask your kids to write a letter to themselves for NEXT summer: what they enjoyed, what they didn't; what they'd love to do again. Ask your kids to include their favorite summer family activity, and that'll be a great way to figure out what y'all can do together on the weekends

  • Instead of vegging out in front the TV, try playing a game of Uno, War, or even a mini dance party! It'll help break the cycle of dinner-dessert-TV.

Got other ideas? Sharing is caring! Please post them below, or feel free to send me a note: merry@bemerry.us.


Happy Renewal.



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Anna Botelho
Anna Botelho
Aug 14, 2023

Love these tips!!

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