Getting in shape for summer is a goal many of us share. After all, who doesn’t want to look their best at the beach? Fortunately, this goal to get fit in the warmer months naturally coincides with getting healthy. If you pursue it by eating well and working out properly, you’ll reap benefits that go beyond looking attractive in swimwear.
The problem is, getting in shape is only half of the equation. The challenge is to stay in shape. That can be tough during the summer months. Whether you’re eating more at backyard barbecues, drinking more at beach parties, or skipping your workouts while on vacation, there are plenty of reasons you may forget to prioritize fitness this season.
But you can stop that downward spiral. If you want to get in shape and stay in shape for the summer, follow these tips.
Stay Active During Vacation
There’s nothing wrong with getting away for a while during the summer months. In fact, taking breaks and relaxing is key to staying healthy. That said, finding opportunities to work out while you’re on vacation is a good idea. Going just one week without exercise slows your metabolism down so much you’ll end up burning 80 fewer calories in a typical day.
Not working out while on vacation can also halt your momentum. If you’ve ever tried to establish a fitness routine, you know that convincing yourself to work out becomes easier over time. When you haven’t exercised in a while, just going to the gym feels like a chore. That changes as it becomes a natural part of your routine. Thus, if you stop exercising while on vacation, you may struggle to jump back into your fitness routine when you get home.
Avoid this by making a point of staying active while you’re away. Look for vacation activities that burn calories such as hiking, surfing, or any other fun summer activity. If you’re planning to stay at a hotel, find one with a fitness room and remember to pack your gym clothes. Bring along lightweight workout equipment, such as resistance bands.
Don’t assume that working out will ruin your trip. It will actually have the opposite effect. When you exercise, you have more energy to enjoy your vacation activities. You’ll also feel less guilty about those extra calories you might consume while you’re away.
Summer fun can disrupt your fitness routine. However, it’s nice to be invited to barbecues, graduation parties, and weddings. But as those invitations pile up, you might find that you barely have a single free weekend left to exercise.
This could prevent you from working out if exercising tends to be a weekend activity for you. To ensure this doesn’t happen, mark every event you need to attend on your calendar, and plan on adjusting your fitness routine accordingly. If you typically go for a long run or hike on Saturdays (if that’s the day you have free time), go on a few shorter runs throughout the week. If you spend Sunday mornings at the gym, plan on going to the gym after work more often.
You don’t need to sacrifice working out simply because you’ve been invited to summer parties. By preparing ahead of time, you can easily make the necessary changes to your routine.
Pack Your Own Snacks
Keep in mind that your summer party hosts may not serve the healthiest food options. While you don’t want to rudely decline all the food they serve, you also don’t need to overindulge in snacking during these celebrations.
Bring along some of your own nutritious and low-calorie snacks when heading to summer parties. You’ll be less tempted to dig into bowls of chips if you have a bag of mixed nuts waiting for you in the car.
Drink More Water
Warm summer weather puts you at greater risk of dehydration. Unfortunately, staying in shape is a challenge when you’re dehydrated. You’ll burn fat less efficiently, have less energy to work out, and be more likely to overeat.
These are good reasons to invest in a large, durable water bottle and to stay hydrated. You’ll remember to drink water throughout the day if you always have it on hand. Staying hydrated makes working out much easier and suppresses excessive hunger.
Keep an Eye on Your ‘Before’ Picture
People eager to get in shape for summer often motivate themselves by taking progress pictures. When you can literally see how you’ve improved, you’ll want to keep working out and stay on your diet. Keep this idea (and picture) in mind to help you get fit.
Just don’t make the mistake of forgetting about the first picture in this series. If you don’t look back on where you started, you may forget how being out of shape made you feel. Make a point of regularly checking those early pictures to remind yourself why getting in shape and staying in shape is such an important goal.
Plan Autumn Fitness Events
Motivating yourself to eat right and exercise regularly is easier when you have fitness events to look forward to. Whether it’s a local 5k or a major obstacle course race, these events can give you a reason to commit to your healthy lifestyle.
Use this to your advantage by looking into autumn fitness events ahead of time. If your only goal is “get in shape for summer,” you might feel like you’ve reached the finish line once you hit your target weight. If you have fitness goals spread throughout the year, you’ll have more reasons to maintain your routine.
Spend Time Outdoors
You might be tempted to back off from your fitness routine during summer. This is the time of year when you’re supposed to be taking breaks and relaxing, right? Does that mean you should take a break from working out and sticking to your diet?
That may seem reasonable. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season and help you stay in shape. During these warm months, spend more time outdoors. Plan to participate in the kinds of calorie-burning activities that are only available during the summer. If you don’t want to waste an hour of summer at a boring gym, you can still exercise and be surrounded by nature and the great outdoors.
Getting in shape for summer isn’t just about looking good. It’s about establishing a foundation for fitness that yields major health benefits in both the short and long run. If you stay committed, your health and wellbeing will enjoy many seasons to come.
Want more content like this? Sign up here with your email for $20 off any appointment, special deals, and health-related content sent to you on a regular basis.
About Slingshot Health
Slingshot Health is a health tech startup that brings top healthcare providers and patients together. Patients bid on the cost of services and healthcare providers accept bids based on availability. Slingshot Health is unique in that it is a mutual marketplace putting both patients and providers back in control. Visit us at slingshothealth.com.