The adage ‘if you fail to plan then you're planning to fail' rings especially true in the summertime. With good intentions, many people move into the season with a false sense of confidence believing they will still abide by the same fitness routine and healthy lifestyle they do most of the year. But when terraces open and sangria rears its lovely head, good intentions can quickly go down the drain. Dining out becomes the norm and intense exercise often gets replaced with an evening stroll that isn't nearly as effective at warding off extra helpings of dessert.
Keep your goal in mind
When you're out having fun and socializing it can be easy to get lost in the moment and lose sight of your fitness goals. An easy way stay focused is to carry a 'goal card' in your wallet or purse as a reminder of where you want to be. This can be a written note, a photograph of yourself at your goal weight, or maybe a snapshot of your family or kids. That way when you feel you're veering off track at the restaurant/bar/picnic, you can easily remind yourself of the hard work you've put it already and why you're staying committed to a healthier lifestyle. When cheesecake pays you a visit or you're considering skipping your fitness class again, take out your goal card and stare it down. Think about how great you'll feel the following day when you know you've stayed the course.
Make a summer buddy
Achievement can be attributed to staying motivated, seeing results and persistently pushing towards the goal even when conditions aren't in your favour. If you'd like to increase your chances of success this summer, consider forming a fitness support team of like-minded individuals. It will keep you driven, accountable, and will encourage healthy competition. Friends who train together, gain RESULTS together! Whether it's a small hiking group or a on-on-one gym buddy system, everyone becomes a coach and cheerleader inspiring each other to keep going even when the going gets tough. Finding buddies with similar lifestyles or schedules will keep the group dynamic flowing smoothly and best of all, you can continue bonding with a fun evening out, after earning those FitPoints.
Take in the outdoors
Colourful flowers, a blue sky, and fresh air can be incredibly inspiring. Make sure to spend as much time outside as you can this summer and you'll feel compelled to increase your activity. Do you have roller blades or a bicycle in the shed that can be dusted off? When was the last time you made your way around without the help of your car or public transportation? It might not be intense enough to make you sweat up a storm, but don't take a quick paced walk around the block for granted. Given the number of hours in a day most people sit in a chair or lie in bed, any movement or physical activity is appreciated by the body. Commit to a morning stroll, bike to the office, take your lunch break outside, or bring the family to the park after dinner.
No gym? No problem
If your gym closes early during the gym, have a written bodyweight program handy and head to the nearest park. If the sweltering sun is too hot to train under, stay indoors and blast the fan along with some great music. Consider revising your exercise routine or activity to keep it short, sweet and effective as time efficient workouts catered to your summer schedule will prevent your fitness motivation from slipping away.
Above anything else you do to succeed this summer, keep a positive mindset and stay focused on your goal. No matter how many times you miss the gym, fall off track or get discouraged, the reward of a fit physique and a strengthened character is awaiting you at the finish line. It's even worth giving up the sangria for.