With it finally being light out deep into the evening and the weather continuing to be warm across many parts of the world, it should be easy to find the motivation and energy to get up and get your daily workout in. Unfortunately, though, we know it isn’t always that easy, and life loves to throw distractions in our way.
Our tendency to want to overschedule ourselves with fun plans and trips during the summer can also lead to fitness setbacks, since things get busy and hectic, and exercising is left to fall by the wayside. Don’t let yourself fall into this pattern though. Exercise is very important in ensuring optimal health, even if the only working out you can do is something very light. Every bit counts!
Here are some tips to help you stay focused, even during the heat of these busy months.
Planning your workouts ahead of time makes you less likely to skip them, since they’re integrated into your day. Look into fitness classes during the week after work, or make some appointments with a personal trainer. That way, you’ll have stuff set in stone each week, and you won’t want to cancel and leave your workout buddy hanging at spin class or make your trainer lose an appointment.
Even if you’re working out solo at home, planning will give you more incentive to do it. You don’t have any excuses as to why you “can’t” if you’ve blocked out time in your day specifically for your workout routine.
Get on a Regular Schedule
Similar to that sentiment, if you keep pushing exercise off to a day when you have a bit more time or it’s a little cooler out, eventually you’ll just never do it at all. If your schedule warrants it, try to plan your workout for the same time every day, even if it’s a short one. Getting into a constant routine of exercise will make you more likely to do it, since you’ll develop a habit.
Do Your Workout at Home
The Internet offers a wealth of online videos and resources for workouts you can do in the comfort of your living room. Whether it’s yoga or some intense cardio, you’re sure to find something that fits your workout goals. YouTube is a good resource for some free workouts if you’ll be at home for the day.
Another good tool for working out at home is a gaming system like the Wii Fit or anything similar. The device gives you virtual workouts and various exercises. You can also tailor it to your personal goals, like wanting to build muscle or improve your cardiovascular system.
Buy Some New, Appropriate Workout Gear
If you’re really struggling with the motivation, try taking yourself out for a shopping spree. It’s also important that you frequently re-assess if your workout gear is still in shape to help you perform at your best.
If you’re feeling pain while running, rubbing from shoes or clothing or some other uncomfortable sensation from your clothing, there’s a good chance you just aren’t wearing the proper size, or your stuff is a little worn out. Use this opportunity to outfit yourself in some super-cute—and efficient—workout gear. Having the right gear can improve how you feel about heading outside.
Throw in Mini Sessions
The summer can make it hard to fit in your normal full-length routine. That doesn’t mean you should stop altogether, though. Do a solid 15 minutes of core work, or try some beginner high-intensity interval training workouts to get a full-body session in. HIIT and Tabata workouts can be as short as 10 minutes, which you can work into any schedule, no matter how busy it is.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Summer is the time of year where many of us go on trips and happy hours and indulge just a little more in fine cuisine and sweet drinks. But don’t let your typical diet get entirely away from you just because of the season. It’s OK to indulge a bit, but make sure you’re keeping it in check. Portion your meals so you’re not overdoing it on decadent foods. Eat only the foods you really want, so you don’t fill up on stuff you don’t like.
Instead of sugary drinks, try to stick to mostly water. A margarita here and there won’t hurt, but sweet drinks come with a lot of empty calories. Limit the days you’re indulging. As much as you want to bring home a bunch of those leftovers from that cookout, try resisting. A day or two of treating yourself is fine, but you may not want to be tempted to have a late-night pig-out on that food later.
Take Advantage of the Season
There are some fun activities you can only enjoy during summer. Activities like swimming are made for this time of year, and are easier on the body but just as rigorous as other common cardio workouts like running. And if you happen to snag some time off and have kids or little siblings that are out of school, take them outside to play!
These types of activities can manage to provide your body with a decent workout while also making some amazing memories with family and friends. Summer activities like surfing the waves, or even just treading some water, are fun and natural workouts that everyone can enjoy.
While it may be tempting, the fun of summer doesn’t mean avoiding your fitness routine until things get seemingly easier—especially because, be honest with yourself, it never gets easier. The winter will come around and then it will be “too cold.” So, follow these tips and make sure you’re staying fit year-round.
Photo by Geert Pieters
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