It’s not worth using up your energy by getting angry over the school emails. Photograph: Thinkstock

If you can’t face the school admin, just befriend one of the parents who thrive on the tiny details

Bring a frisbee to the park, and get your exercise while entertaining the kids. Photograph: Thinkstock

Just because school is out doesn’t mean your exercise regime has to suffer. Make activity your number one priority this summer

Running can bring positive feeling about your body through a transformed attitude. Photograph: Thinkstock

Ruth Field: The real benefits of running are far more important than a ‘bikini body’

‘I consider it to be a major perk of being a mother of two that I no longer have to worry about wearing a bikini.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

There’s no need to fear the beach once you have a tummy-control bathing suit and a healthy attitude to exercise and food

Accepting yourself is one thing, accepting living with a BMI of 40 is quite another; so accept instead that you do need to lose some weight. Photograph: Thinkstock

Spending half your life in and out of slimming clubs means that slimming clubs don’t work for you. So find something that does

Tackle a kitchen cupboard shelf.  It’s the first step that must be taken in order to begin any project. Photograph: Thinkstock

You can overindulge in grit advice, but if it doesn’t turn into action, it’s not true grit

A busy woman needs to find an activity other than running that she can embrace with the same passion

Leave the sit-ups aside for now and try an alternative back-strengthening exercise. Photograph: Thinkstock

Let your back heal at its own pace, and while that is ongoing, there’s time to tackle the spare tyre

Layered with intoxicating combinations of the dodgiest synthetic sugars and fats, biscuit treats turn toxic

We’ve all consumed a bunch of extra calories over the holidays, which have to go somewhere. Photograph: Thinkstock Images

Going that extra mile not only banishes holiday bulges but will allow you to eat what you fancy

Ruth Field says walk, or make it your mission to find an alternative exercise that meets the minimum exercise requirements. And do it now. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ruth Field believes a sunny disposition can wipe a decade off your face and exercise can get rid of that telltale mother-of-thre(...)

Running mates: a time might come when your companion starts to slow you down - or simply annoy you. Photograph: Getty Images/Fuse

Have you tired of inducting a new jogger? Here’s how to gently let them down – with elan

The first rule of committed running is to run whatever the weather conditions. Photograph: Getty Images

Running in the rain beats any indoor exercise, once you close the front door behind you

Olfactory blues: what are you to do when something doesn’t smell right in your relationship? Photograph: Thinkstock

My boyfriend can spend five hours a day in the pub but not five minutes in the shower

The grit doctor says: ‘Remind yourself through your gritted teeth that none of it is supposed to be easy.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Give yourself a break. Running is all the sweeter if you haven’t done it for weeks

Don’t restrict yourself to your Tinder app. Get online with other dating agencies. Photograph: Thinkstock

Using a dating app in an honest fashion in your mission to find Mr Right may involve a few simple adjustments

Being active is every bit as necessary to me for a great holiday as all the wine, cheese and merrymaking . . . and the long stretches of runnable sandy beach are drawing me in. Photograph: iStockphoto

I’m enjoying my holidays to the full, but I am also making damn sure I get exercise every day

Being constantly told that these are the best years and how much we should treasure our young children can add to the pressures of being a parent. Photograph: Thinkstock

Life with young children can be an emotional rollercoaster – so take some time out

To start getting real kicks out of it all again, you are going to have to stretch yourself. Photograph: Thinkstock

Your body has become used to regular runs, so you need to up the ante if you want to relive those ‘highs’

If you cannot resist the pull of an ice-cream snack, opt instead for an ice lolly, which will hit the spot without hitting your waist. Photograph: Thinkstock

Summer time and ice-cream may go together but feeling bloated is a side effect you could do without

All set: there will come a time when that American holiday works for you again, but it is not now. Meanwhile the older children might love to go and stay with their American family on their own

If you want to get out of the annual holiday in the US with your husband’s family, you must speak up now

Once the stalemate is broken, it is so much easier to do it again and again until a sexual routine is re-established. Photograph: Thinkstock

Sex is probably the first thing that goes when a couple is busy with young kids and full-time jobs

Run no matter what you are feeling . . . because life is always going to keep coming at us. Photograph: Thinkstock

Think you just can’t run? Try putting one foot in front of the other and just going for a walk for starters

The hardest thing about a marathon is staying motivated throughout your training. Photograph: Thinkstock

Laughing, not whining, will help you through the next six months

Watch your sauce intake: tomato ketchup, BBQ sauce and chilli sauce can be full of sugar. Photograph: Getty Images

If you are running but still need to shift those extra pounds, reduce the amount of saturated fats and sugar you consume

I’d hazard a guess that every single person you meet has at least one terrible secret that would break your heart. Photograph: Getty Images

If your boss is behaving inappropriately and treating you badly, then confront him like a grown up

An early morning run on the beach before dawn breaks (or a sunset run) is hard to beat if you want to stay fit and healthy while on your holidays. Photograph: Getty Images

Running will add immeasurable value to your holiday experience

Your initial weight loss could be down to the natural shedding of excess weight after your pregnancy rather than as a result of your having taken up running. Photograph: Getty Images

When the weight loss comes to a halt, it’s time to make your runs longer, tougher and more regular

Starting a new sport when pregnant is a bad idea, but swimming and yoga are exceptions. Photograph: Getty Images

Doing what feels right for your body is the best approach to fitness during pregnancy

Awarding a star team player of the week can be effective in giving workers an incentive. Photograph: Getty Images

Work colleagues elbowing each other up the corporate ladder can lead to a communications breakdown

We all know smoking is bad for our lungs but a programme of running will ensure that we will realise that truth. Photographs: Getty Images

A running programme will help smokers give up their tobacco addiction for a fitness addiction

Change your route to avoid any bad encounters. Photograph: Getty Images

Bad experiences will happen during your runs, but they are to be expected and you can turn them to your advantage

Running outdoors is only really treacherous when the wind is bad. Photograph: Getty Images

The poor weather is really just another excuse we give for avoiding the things we don’t want to do

Forget New Year resolutions. They don’t work. But getting out and moving works wonders

Stop the stress: how to take the pressure out of hosting the big day. Photograph: Getty images

If every Christmas brings the same old story of you playing host, being chef, waitress and referee, well then read on

There are some super assertive mums keen to offload their kids and the kindliest ‘stay-at-home-mum-type’ is the most obvious target. Photograph: Getty Images

When you say yes but really mean no, it festers an ill feeling and saps your mojo

If it is photographic symmetry that is genuinely the problem here, either get over it or get another bridesmaid to balance the numbers. Don’t lose friends over  things that don’t matter. Photograph: Getty Images

Tell your best friend that you momentarily lost all perspective, and invite her to be re-instated as your maid of honour, if she’l(...)

Toddlers seem to possess a sixth sense when a particular effort has been made . . . which is why a freshly painted kitchen wall will be the darling little one’s next obvious target. Photograph: Getty Images

To paint over the smear or to give up on having smear-free walls are the choices. Either option will bring you peace of mind

Benefit of experience: do a job, any job really, learn from it and work out your next move. Photograph: Getty Images

You won’t find out what career you want until you get out there and try a few jobs on for size

No one else can make this happen for you and it isn’t going to happen of its own accord. It has to come from you. Photograph:  Getty Images

It’s time to stop thinking about owning a beauty salon and start doing something about it

Reading a book on running won’t help you lose weight, but getting out and actually running will

Sport fitness woman tired and sweating

Expect it to be very difficult in the first few weeks, but follow a few simple tips and it will get much easier

Once the callus has been treated, invest in podiatrist-approved trainers.

Calluses/corns can be the bane of a runner’s life but the good news is that the problem is very treatable

Start making those changes in areas where you have always wanted to, but somehow never get round to it because something else always gets in the way

Use the Grit Doctor to engage your Inner Bitch to get yourself organised and to stay on top of things

Ruth Field accepts an invitation to run with Ray in Dundalk on Maunday Thursday

At risk: running on concrete or other unforgiving hard surfaces, or up steep hills, can cause shin splints At risk: running on concrete or other unforgiving hard surfaces, or up steep hills, can cause shin splints

As one 15-year-old has found out, running is a great leveller, as youth offers no extra protection against injury

A bit of  stiffness is no bad thing but when that stiffness turns into pain, action must be taken. Photograph: Getty Images

I got up off the sofa in January and am running towards a mini-marathon but training makes my legs stiff

Working up the courage to get out in the icy cold may be the same old struggle every year – but just do it

RUN CLINIC: I am just starting back into running after a long break due to pregnancy

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