Sun’s out, Gun’s out this Summer
Keeping yourself fit throughout the year is key to achieving sustainable and healthy benefits. Your body health should always be a priority however, in the colder months daylight hours are shorter and motivation to exercise is difficult for even the most dedicated. A lot of people let themselves relax a little on their healthy diet and exercise in Winter and get more serious about fitness when the weather starts to warm up. The best way to start is to start today!
Spring and Summer are the most enjoyable times of the year to get active outside. There are dozens of activities you can choose from to get fit outside including swimming, jogging, bootcamp classes, walking and gardening. When the weather is fine, a lot of people find it easier to get motivated and go outside for some fitness, especially if the sun is shining. It is a great time of year to try outdoor workouts at home like yoga, bodyweight and circuit sessions. Mixing low impact workouts into your routine gives your joints a rest whilst keeping your muscles engaged.
Getting up early and doing exercise in the morning may be difficult but as the days get warmer and the sun rises earlier it is better to workout in the mornings. Our sizzling summer heat can make workouts difficult and even dangerous, it is best to avoid exercising outdoors from 10am-2pm on hot days for this reason.
If you really aren’t a morning person, exercising in the evening may be a better option. When the sun is lower and the day is starting to cool down it is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the mild hours before the sun sets. This may not be an option for persons who have trouble sleeping as exercise tells our bodies it is time to be awake. Some people experience trouble settling down and sleeping well after exercising in the evening.
Cardio and strength training
A lot of us enjoy either cardio or strength training more than the other. This provides the temptation to throw out the less favoured type of training all together. Having a good combination of both types of fitness leads to faster weight loss and a better overall base of routine. Both cardio and strength training benefit one another as building lean muscle helps burn fat faster whilst better fitness and endurance assists your strength training performance.
It is important to remember just because you are working towards a Summer deadline, it never pays to over-train or go on extreme diets. Working towards a goal slowly and consistently is far more effective and better for your body than yo-yo training and dieting. Listen to your body, if you feel too tired or sore to workout you are better off having a rest day rather than pushing through and injuring yourself.
Set a goal
Motivating yourself to keep going on days where you really can’t be bothered is far easier if you have something to work towards. Before you work out your training routine, think about what you want to achieve from working on your fitness. Goals need to be realistic and measurable in order to be achievable. It may be easier to work out an overall goal and then break that down into smaller stages to keep yourself tracking closely. There will be hard days and there will be times you want to give up, the key is to remember why you started and how great it will make you feel once you have done it.
Look beyond the scale
Getting in shape isn’t about loosing weight, it is about improving how you feel in your own skin physically and mentally. Hanging your expectations on the scale is actually more damaging than profitable. Every human can weigh more or less according to the amount of fluid inside their body as well as strength training will increase weight through gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, therefore you may be gaining lean muscle and toning up but not seeing a smaller number on the scales. It is far more accurate to base your progress on the way you look and feel and how your clothes are fitting rather than be obsessed with the the number you weigh.
Consistent but flexible
Being consistent is the most key aspect of any training program in order to achieve your goals, however it is not healthy to become obsessed with your weight loss and fitness schedule. Finding the balance of overcoming your excuses on days you can’t be bothered but also working around other commitments in your life looks different for everyone. Work out the amount of days a week you would like to train and fit it in around your normal schedule rather that rigidly sticking to a program regimented for specific days of the week.
Keep a food and exercise diary
A diary is an excellent way to keep yourself on track for your weight loss and fitness goals. We often mindlessly snack on food if it’s there, writing everything you eat down gives you an idea of how much you are actually putting into your body vs how much energy you are taking out of your body everyday.
It also gives you a great sense of achievement writing down the workouts and fitness you have achieved in a week. This in itself is good motivation to make sure you stay consistent and inline with your goals.
As the weather gets warmer, the risk of getting sunburned or overheating gets higher. We often forget the danger of the sun when we are outside, even for short periods of time. Ensure you always wear sunscreen and a hat or visor when exercising outside in Summer.
It is a good idea to get UPF clothing to exercise outside in which will protect you from the sun. If UPF clothing is too expensive you can opt for light coloured clothing made from breathable and sweat wicking materials. This will allow you more comfort exercising in warmer temperatures.
When we sweat our body craves the water content that it has lost through perspiration. Dehydration can be very dangerous and will not help your fitness or weight loss journey. Try to drink some water every 20 minutes or so whilst exercising, if practical and finish off your workout with a good amount of water to replenish your fluids.