Summer is finally here, and for a lot of us, that means more time outside in the sun. During the colder months, it’s easy to hibernate and hunker down. But once the temperature rises, it’s easier to be more active. With that in mind, here are 17 simple ways to stay fit this summer.
Ditch the car
This might be a little more difficult for those who live in rural areas, but if you live in a more urban location, you might try doing your errands on foot. If you’re going out for coffee, walk to the café. It’s an easy way to work exercise into your daily routine.
Stop aiming for a “bikini body”
Months before summer arrives, we start seeing ads for shakes, bars, and pills that promise to make our bodies “beach ready.” But the belief that there’s one perfect body type is destructive, and often sabotages our fitness goals. Instead of focusing on having a “bikini body,” focus instead on being healthy.
Mix it up
During the winter, it’s easy to fall into the habit of just going to the gym every day. When it’s cold outside, exercising outdoors might seem unappealing. But now that it’s warmer, try going for the occasional jog or bike ride. Changing things up will help you stay interested in working out.
Take advantage of the sun
One of the primary challenges that can get in the way of our fitness goals is the fact that, for so many of us, it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to finish everything on our to-do lists. As a result, exercise may fall by the wayside. But during the summer, when the sun rises earlier and sets later, it can be easier to feel motivated to work out before or after work.
Avoid midday workouts
It’s a good thing that there’s more sun early in the morning and later in the evening during the summer months, because working out in the middle of the day may not be the best choice when temperatures begin to soar. It can put you at risk of overheating. If you’re someone who likes to work out on your lunch break, try indoor exercise.
Hit the farmers’ market
Summer is a great time for produce. Go to a farmers’ market and you’ll find a smorgasbord of fruit and veggies. If you’ve been struggling to eat more healthfully, summer is the perfect time to get started — there are so many delicious, seasonal options to choose from.
This one may seem a little obvious, but it’s very important. Exercising in the summer heat means you’ll probably work up a good sweat, which also means you’ll need to drink plenty of water. Dehydration should be taken seriously.
Along the same lines, caffeine can be dehydrating. Avoid coffee and caffeinated teas and sodas shortly before a workout (and it’s best to try and cut down on soda consumption in general).
Establish a routine
Summer is a time when many of us take vacations. It can be difficult to stick with your workout regimen when you’re away from home. However, establishing a routine before you travel can be helpful. If you work out at the same time each day, and you set aside the same amount of time, it will be easier to stick with your routine when you’re traveling.
Book the right accommodations
To make it easier for you to keep up your routine when you’re out of town, try to book hotels that offer fitness facilities or are located in areas where you can easily and safely go for a jog or a walk. Of course, budgetary constraints may be a concern. If so, try booking ahead, traveling on weekdays, or looking up websites that provide discounted accommodation.
Now that the weather is warmer, there are more choices when it comes to working out. Hiking, biking, jogging, or walking, may not be as appealing during the winter months, but now is the perfect time to take advantage of the great outdoors. Take this opportunity to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, and it won’t feel like an obligation — you’ll genuinely enjoy it.
Register for a 5k
Whether you’re walking or jogging, registering for a 5k can be a great motivator. It will give you a goal to work towards. And, if you encourage friends and family to register with you, it can be an excellent way to share your fitness goals with others.
Make it a group activity
If you have kids home for the summer, bringing them on walks or bike rides can be a great opportunity to spend time with them while getting exercise. You can also make arrangements to go on a weekly walk or take a fitness class with a friend. This can make your workouts more fun, and can keep you motivated to continue.
Go for a swim
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to run in the sprinklers or hit the water park every summer? You don’t have to stop enjoying the water just because you’re a grown-up. Try swimming laps in an outdoor pool, and if possible, mix it up by going for a swim in a lake or the ocean.
Take advantage of vacations
If you’re visiting a new city for your summer vacation, set aside some time to go walking or jogging. It’s one of the best ways to get to know a new city because you’re likely to see areas you may not visit while you’re trying to hit the tourist hotspots.
Pay attention to your body
A lot of us switch up our workout routines during the summer. We may go on longer walks or jogs because we enjoy being outside in the warm weather. Or we may switch from gym workouts to outdoor activities. It’s important when changing your exercise routine to pay attention to your body. Don’t push yourself to the point of injury. If you’re feeling fatigued, stop and rest.
Set goals for yourself and reward yourself when you accomplish them. They don’t need to be huge goals. You don’t have to run a marathon. But if you set the goal for yourself of walking three days a week and you follow through, find a way to reward yourself — you’ve earned it!
Summer is here! The weather is warmer and the days are longer — time to get outside, get active, and enjoy some fun in the sun.