Summertime is a great time to get in shape, but summer can also present some unique challenges when it comes to sticking to your fitness routine. There are graduations, summer road trips, weddings, vacations, and all sorts of distractions that deter you from your regular schedule, and which can take away from your time at the gym. Never fear! We’ve got some tips to help you stay on track with your summer fitness plan.
Have a plan but be flexible. In order to stick to a plan, you must first have a plan! Get specific, such as “I’m going to walk one mile a day for five out of seven days and do weight training for the other two days”. If you know your schedule is about to be interrupted with a special event or trip, meaning you won’t be able to get to the gym for those two days of weight training, change the days to accommodate your schedule or do body weight exercises instead.
Set realistic goals. If your goal is to run a marathon in September or October, you will need to train all summer long. If you’re going out of town, do a little research into places you can run that will help you maintain your training schedule, but again, stay flexible. Look at your summer calendar and be realistic about what you’re willing to do to hit both your daily and long term goals and map out a strategy for training while traveling.
Work out early. Experts say those who work out first thing in the morning are more likely to stick with their workout plan. Summer heat makes workouts more challenging, so getting yours in early not only helps you stay on track, it also keeps you out of the summer sun during the hottest part of the day. No matter when you work out, remember to stay hydrated!
Eat fresh. Take advantage of all the summer fruits and veggies and incorporate as much fresh, whole, unprocessed food as possible into your summer diet. Salads, smoothies, and snacks are all great ways to get more fruits and veggies in your body, and you’ll feel lighter and more energized as a result.
Adjust your portion sizes. No one wants to work out on a full stomach, and heavy meals tend to make way for lighter fare during the summer months. In addition to eating lighter and enjoying more fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies, moderate your portion sizes to eat just enough to feel full, but not stuffed, when you finish. It’s not about depriving yourself of all those fun summer foods, but you can experiment with portion sizes to enjoy the tastes of summer without overloading your plate.
Water, water, everywhere! Take your water bottle with you everywhere you go this summer and try to drain and refill it several times a day. Water will not only help your body stay hydrated and fend off heat-related issues, it will help you eat less and feel fuller throughout the day. Add a little healthy flavor with fresh fruit like lemons, oranges, and limes, or a healthy mix of cucumber and mint. Experiment to discover which flavors you like best. Water doesn’t have to be boring!
Avoid sugar. Added sugar is everywhere, and one of the worst culprits are summertime drinks. Stay away from sodas, sugar-laden fruit drinks, and cocktails. Opt for flavored water, sparkling water or seltzer, and skinny versions of your favorite mixed drinks. For desserts, try a little heavy whipping cream over a small dish of fresh summer berries, or sprinkle a natural sweetener like stevia or monk fruit over sliced fruit.
Develop a healthy summer fitness plan and don’t beat yourself up if you deviate from it slightly. We understand it can be a challenge to stay on track, do when you do slip up just start fresh the next day. The idea is to still enjoy your summer as much as possible while you’re working your plan. Here’s to a healthy, fun summer!