Summer is here and most of us have been grinding hard in the gym all winter preparing for swimsuit season. Yet as soon as that hot sun hits our faces it’s all too easy to lay back at the beach while losing motivation to train or get activity in. Do not let the summer heat take over and get the best of you! Too often YEARS of hard work are completely erased in just a couple months of the summer lifestyle change. Try these 5 simple tricks to help with damage control and making sure you are reaping the benefits of your hard work while still balancing training, clean eating, and social events.
1. Plan ahead, and get your workouts in early in the day. Setting a routine early in the warm season and writing it down will make you more likely to stay consistent in the whirlwind of summer events. Schedule a time for yourself 3-4 times a week that will be dedicated to your workouts. Think of this schedule like a job or a business meeting to ensure you always have time for it and that way, you’ll never let yourself down. Also, if you plan to get it done in the mornings, you will have the free time to spend your evenings and weekends relaxing in the summer sun.
2. Mix up your fitness routine and utilize the great weather outdoors. Keeping things interesting will help make your work outs feel less like working out and more like a summer activity. Take the kids swimming, try biking in the park, go rollerblading on the boardwalk or even something as simple as a jog or walk through your neighborhood are all great ways to get your heart rate up while enjoying the weather. Some other fun ideas to try with your friends could be signing up for an outdoor boot camp, finally attending that yoga practice in the park, or better yet, take turns create your own circuit using resistance bands, a couple free weights and your own bodyweight. The main goal is to give yourself some variety that will keep the workouts fun and feeling less like a chore — leaving you something to look forward to.
3. Keep your diet as clean as possible when you go through your regular day to day activities. Just because the weather changed does not mean what is in our everyday meals no longer counts! Plan ahead for your week and prepare the majority your food to help yourself stay on track when temptation hits. Convenient snacks will be around every corner, so staying prepared will help prevent those unnecessary calories. This way when all those summer weddings, birthday parties, or even the typical neighborhood block party does come up, you will be able to indulge a little and enjoy the event without the guilt of ruining all your hard work. Remember – what we eat in private we wear in public!
4. Keep your meals interesting and don’t be afraid to add some variety. Take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fresh summer favorites will be a nice change when added to your usual snacks, salads, and dinners. Try heading to your local farmer’s market to get the freshest produce. This can be a fun, weekly family activity which also helps gets you out and active! Make these trips into an exciting challenge by picking out something different and creating a new, healthy dish each week! And don’t forget, BBQ season is not only for hotdogs and hamburgers, try grilling your fruits and vegetables for a nice smoky flavor you can’t get in winter by using the stove!
5. Having trouble with social pressure to drink? Warm weather brings all sorts of invitations for patio drinks or backyard BBQs but you do not have to go heavy on the alcohol to stay social in summer months! Try drinking alternatives such as sparkling water with fruit (put it in a wine glass for added effect) and you have a fun, healthy ‘mocktail’ without all the added sugars and calories! Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a couple alcoholic drinks during your summer vacation. If you do happen to have a few cold ones you can save yourself the calories, and the headache, by staying clear of the sugar-filled, slushy drinks that come from a machine. Try making a fresh, low-calorie sangria by mixing your favorite red or white wine, soda water, your choice of Mio, fresh fruit, add in some ice and voila!