As a gym owner, I see people working out year round. Everyone has different schedules and motivations, but no matter what, they have found a routine. Then something weird happens every year around summer.
It could be because of the vacations planned. Maybe it’s the heat. Or perhaps everyone smashed their goals and has the summer body they’ve been working for. That last one had a bit of sarcasm; it is possible but rarely the case.
Whatever the reason, people slack on their workouts during the summer. If you identify with this, you should know a couple of things. First, taking a break isn’t a bad thing. You’ve got a couple of weeks before you start to lose progress. The second thing you should know is that it only takes a couple of weeks before you begin to lose the momentum you’ve been working months for.
See the predicament here? You may be thinking, “I’ve worked so hard to get this far, I deserve a break!” Far be it from me to tell you otherwise. My thought is that you’ve worked so hard to get this far, why back off now?
There are ways you can enjoy summer and make sure you don’t compromise your progress.
If you’ve been hitting it hard for several months, try backing off a little. This isn’t going completely inactive. Trust me, you will regret cutting out all workouts.
Your body is quick to adapt. If you’re not challenging it, your body will change to match. That means metabolism tanks, energy declines, and all the good endorphins will quickly fade.
What’s worse, getting your progress back if you’ve dropped to zero workouts will be a bigger struggle. It’s not impossible – you can get there eventually – but it is a process of easing back into a solid routine. It’s much easier if you keep a few workouts on the schedule and try some other activities to fill the gaps.
Switch It Up
If your routine is getting repetitive, it’s a great time of year to get creative! Don’t be afraid to switch it up and take advantage of the longer days and potentially less-hectic schedule. There’s plenty you can do outside of the typical gym environment that will get your heart rate up.
Swimming – I know it’s tempting to sit poolside and work on your tan. Why not hop in and swim some laps? If you’re not an aquatic pro, don’t stress about perfect form. This is an excellent cardio workout you shouldn’t pass up.
Hit The Trails – You can run, bike, and hike in the beautiful outdoors. There is so much variety you can’t plan for which adds the challenge you need to keep it interesting. Check out your local park for trail guides and pick one to tackle.
Play With Your Kids – One of my biggest motivators for working out is to keep up with my kids. Get outside and throw a frisbee, kick a soccer ball around, or visit a playground and have fun! If you don’t think that’s a workout, hop on the monkey bars and do some pull-ups. 😉
**Take Your Group Fitness Class Outside – With McClure Fitness Online you can do your favorite group workouts anywhere. It’s a great way to change up the scenery! Trust me, you’ll still burn the same calories (or more).
Summer in the south can be brutal. The 1-2 combo of heat and humidity does a number on your will to work out and your hair. Be smart during your workouts in the summer and follow these tips:
Hydrate – I cannot stress this one enough! The majority of Americans (upwards of 80%) admit to not drinking enough water. The last thing you want to do when exercising in the heat of the summer is slack on hydration.
Dress Right – Think lightweight and breathable. Anything that can wick sweat away from your skin will keep you cool. Quality athletic wear is a worthwhile investment, especially if you’re out in the elements.
Choose Wisely – Shaded trails and bodies of water have naturally cooler temps. Pick a spot that works to your advantage rather than the hot pavement in open streets. Also, consider the time of day. An early morning run can set your day off on the right foot (pun intended).
Motivation is a topic that has been covered extensively. The bottom line is you need the motivation to keep working toward your goals. This is especially true in fitness.
Getting started is definitely hard, but staying motivated is often undervalued. We do our best to create habits and discipline to keep us in check when motivation wanes. When that happens, you need a plan to find what fuels you.
Challenge Yourself – Have you ever wanted to run a 5k? Maybe you want to set some personal milestones for strength or endurance exercises? Give yourself mini challenges and see what you can accomplish.
Move Your Horizon – If you’ve reached a fitness goal, it’s time to level up. Establish a new goal and give yourself something to go after. If you haven’t hit the goal you set just yet, that’s even more motivation to avoid backsliding this summer.
Remember Why – It’s easy to lose sight of your “why” when workouts become routine. Take the time to assess where you’re at, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and use that as fuel to keep going!
If you start feeling signs of burnout and long for a break, then take one! Forcing yourself to do something and failing to give it your full effort is hardly worth it. If you become bored or start to despise working out, you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment.
Just be mindful of the time off and don’t slip too far. This is the perfect time of year to refresh yourself and your routine. After all, it’s summertime so get outside, stay active