Marsha Smrcka Shares Back-To-School Fitness Tips
Back-to-school time is a great time to get in shape.
“There is a saying in the weight loss industry that ‘September is the new January,’” said Marsha Smrcka, Health and Wellness Coach and owner of Fit4Mation. “The industry will typically see an increase in activity this time of the year, from people joining gyms to weight loss programs, and purchasing tools and technologies that support weight loss.”
Whether it’s the cooler weather, change of season, or kids heading back to class, Smrcka said that this time of year is an ideal time of year for transformation.
“Oftentimes we have a few pounds to lose from summer indulgences and we try to get ourselves started back on track by the time we dig out our fall wardrobes of skinny jeans and cute boots,” she said. “I have four children, so the last couple of weeks have been all about preparing them to get back to school. In sending them back I suddenly get my ‘me’ time back and into a groove with work and a schedule that is less erratic than the long lazy summer days of June-August.”
Along with exercise, Smrcka added that this time of year is a good opportunity to improve nutrition.
“It is the perfect time to think about revamping our nutrition and meal plans to incorporate more healthful eating habits by considering healthy lunch ideas (for kids’ school lunches as well as our own) and fast and simple dinners using the slow cooker, for example,” she said.
Changes in family schedules and the colder temperatures can also sometimes dissuade people from staying active, which is why Smrcka encourages developing an in-home fitness routine and sticking to it.
“Thinking ahead to the holidays, some people tend to sabotage their goals before they even start, anticipating the typical weight gain during the last few months of the year and giving up before they even start,” she explained. “Why not instead work to reach your goal and establish exercise as habit and routine, so you are able to go into maintenance mode during the holidays and enjoy a few treats here and there without the guilt?”
With childhood obesity rates at an all-time high (and nearly 1 in 3 children and adolescents considered overweight or obese in the state of WI), Smrcka said that it’s important to educate and inspire children to stay active. MCTV VIDEO HERE
“Taking a preventative approach is far better than a reactive approach,” she said. “Children already deal with peer pressures, social anxieties, fitting in, and self-confidence. Having a healthy mind and body starts at home with us as parents leading by example, and sharing with them the importance of daily activity and healthy balanced nutrition.”
Encouraging children to participate in meal planning and prep, providing them with a list of healthy options for them to eat, and sharing a love of fitness with them are all good steps Smrcka recommends.
Our family’s favorite healthy after school snack is: No Bake Energy Balls.
Through Fit4Mation, Smrcka offers busy parents opportunities to help achieve their fitness goals in both closed and private group settings.
“This is the complete solution most people are looking for to help them achieve their fitness goals, that are long-lasting and a healthy lifestyle change,” she said.
She offers a “fitness+nutrition support = success” program, where clients receive a 30 to 90 day fitness program suited for their goals and available in either DVD or streamable format for use in the comfort of their own home. They also gain the online support of 15-20 other people in the same fitness group.
“These individuals are on the same mission as you are, and the support is priceless,” said Smrcka. “This group is a selection of people who are committed to getting results and that are truly ready to make a positive lifestyle change. This is a closed online support group where each day you will receive posts, videos, or tips from me to keep you motivated, accountable and moving in the right direction.”
Smrcka also helps plan meals, and provides ideas and motivation.
“We use real foods, simple nutrition, that you can find in any grocery store and maintain as a lifestyle. No restrictive ‘dieting’ or pills!” she said. “I facilitate group discussions and discuss topics like emotional eating, eating out, traveling, temptations, late night snacking and more. I share my tips and tricks to keep you moving in the right direction. At the end of the 30 days we will measure progress, and you will have continued ongoing support for as long as you choose.”
Smrcka enjoys being a health coach because she is able to help others, as well as provide another level of accountability for her own fitness goals.
Smrcka’s FALL INTO FITNESS challenge begins the day after Labor Day she is currently accepting group members for a September 18th Group Start.