Setting up your Summer Fitness Routine
The sweet days of summer. The days are long and the sun is hot! School is out and hopefully most of us can carve out some family time and sneak away for some holidays or at least a long weekend or two. I'm lucky enough to have summers off, so usually my summers involve a long list of to-do's that I just don't have time for at other times of the year and extra responsibilities that come along with the season, like grass-cutting and gardening. But one thing I do not take a vacation from, even when I'm actually on vacation is taking a little time for myself to stay active through the summer.
Fitness has been part of my routine for many years now, so it is fair to say that I have formed a pretty consistent habit. If you're still working on making physical activity part of a typical day, here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Set the Time
When I'm working I like to get up early to get my workout done first thing. At this stage in my life I savour this time alone - it sets a positive tone for the day and I like going into my day feeling strong and empowered. When my kids were young, I did my workouts after bedtime, again, so I wouldn't have any interruptions. I needed all the sleep I could get! No matter what stage of life you are in, if you commit yourself to a time of day, you are much more likely to succeed. Most of the time we never "feel" like working out, but I have never heard of anyone regretting a workout after they have finished.
Set the Activity
Over the year I have found the most success and consistency by following a program. I subscribe to an online library of literally thousands of workouts. I could do whatever workout tickles my fancy, but I find it easier to get it done when I have a schedule of my workouts and know what to expect (or dread)! I tend to pick programs that are 30 to 45 minutes long because that fits my schedule best. If following a program doesn't work for you, make yourself a calendar and pick out your workouts or activities ahead of time for greater success. Take pride each day as you check off another workout completed.
Find an Accountability Group
Sometimes success and consistency can be achieved by finding another person or a group of people with the same goals. Every person has a different reason for wanting to make fitness a priority, but what you will have in common is that you want to achieve your fitness goals. As your work toward your goal it's important to remember that fitness should be viewed as a journey, not a destination. The people in your accountability group beside you in that journey can be a great support - they really are the best cheerleaders. They'll motivate you on the days when your energy is lacking, cheer for you when you crush your workouts and celebrate the victories along your journey.
Summers sure are sweet and I hope with these tips you are able to set aside a little time for a summer sweat session as well!