SHAPING UP: Back to school and back to workout

With the school summer holidays coming to an end in a couple of weeks parents can get back into a normal routine and back to working out again.

Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 5:00 pm
Graham oversees one of his bootcamp sessions.
Graham oversees one of his bootcamp sessions.

Lots of people find it difficult to maintain their workout schedule during the summer break. With family holidays and the day trips, or just having kids in the house all day, it can prove to distracting and your commitment to fitness can go astray.

It can be hard to get back in ‘the zone’ with your diet and workout routine, once you stop for a few weeks your body takes a break too and when you try to get back into the swing of things it’s not used to the rigorous exercise we endure to look and feel good.

Apricot and blueberry overnight oats.

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There are ways to make the transition easier for anyone who’s had a break from regular exercise and wants to start a workout programme again.

I’ve got five top tips on how to put the summer lull behind you and get back to eating and living healthily:

1. Have Fun

The fitness industry is so varied there are 100’s of ways you can get in shape the key to success is enjoying it and looking forward to your workout not dreading it, why not try something like boot camp where you’re outdoors, getting some fresh air and having fun with a big group of people – Don’t Expect to Jump Straight Back In

East Coast's back to school workout.

It’s important that you realise your body isn’t going to be at the same level of fitness it was before the holidays so don’t get frustrated with yourself when you can only run for five minutes before you’re breathless.

Stick at it and within a couple of weeks you should be back to your previous fitness levels.

3. Get The Right Nutrition

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand but during the summer break it can be easy to fall off the wagon. Whether you’ve been abroad and eaten out every day or visited the ice cream van back home you just have to draw a line in the sand and get back to eating clean healthy food again, no matter how hard you try you can’t out run a bad diet.

Apricot and blueberry overnight oats.

4. Hydrate

The school break may be over but the summer heat will still be around for a few weeks yet so it’s imperative to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout. Drink a pint of iced water about an hour before you start and keep a bottle with you during your workout and drink about half a pint after you’ve finished.

5. Don’t Quit!

You’ve just had break from exercise and it can feel like starting out fresh all over again with sore muscles and tired minds holding you back. For most people this is the time when they decide to quit, DON’T!

East Coast's back to school workout.

Push through the barrier, the first weeks are always the hardest but when you see the progress you’ll make month after month it make it worth the effort in the end.

For more health and nutrition advice or if you want more details on how to get in shape you can contact Graham at [email protected]RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Apricot and Blueberry Overnight Oats

The schools are back soon and with the hectic mornings just around the corner you need something nutritious to keep you energised, but it needs to be quick to save time on a morning.

This overnight oat recipe is perfect. It keeps you full all morning and it takes seconds to make.

Serves 1

Start this recipe the night before. Measure 50g wholegrain rolled oats into a bowl, cover with 85ml almond milk and leave in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, top with a handful of blueberries and two ripe apricots or one peach, stones removed and chopped.

Finish with one teaspoon toasted sesame seeds and a small squirt of honey.


Get into the swing of it

When the kids go back to school you can start to ease yourself back into your workout routine. Try this workout to get you back into the swing of it. You don’t need any equipment and it can be done anywhere.

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds between each exercise.



High Knees

One Arm Plank

Oblique Crunches


For a full demonstration of the workout go to TIP

When you have had a break from exercise and you’re struggling to get motivated again, just go and do one tough workout. Commit to doing it and get it done. You will feel better for doing it and it will give you motivation to get back on the wagon.


Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email [email protected] or visit