Let's make a deal. No matter what comes our way this summer, we will stick to our wellness routines. We will commit to the gyms and chase no empty calorie. We'll live it up and grind it out despite shifting schedules, vacations, having the kids back in the house all day and more.
But first, let's lay some groundwork because we may have been here before. That's just the way life works after all. Right when you start to feel like you've got things figured out, everything changes. You finally get your morning workouts dialed in and suddenly you're tapped to drive the kids to early swim practice. You finally have the #summerbod you've busted your butt for and there's a vacation invite from those friends who just love to eat out the whole time. The reality is that summer throws a wrench in the mix for a ton of us.
Let's not forget our deal, though. We're making this summer different. We're grabbing the reigns and maintaining progress through June, July, and August. Here's how:
The MVW (Minimum Viable Workout) - This one requires a bit of homework, but it tops the list because it's going to be our failsafe. What's one legitimate workout you can complete in 20 minutes? Shoot, pretend you're stuck on a remote island with no free weights or treadmills - after all, maybe your summer vacation will have a similar backdrop.
By defining the MVW up front, we establish a go-to plan for those inevitable days where life is moving too fast, responsibilities and detours take us away from the gym and we've got to squeeze something healthy in at the airport, in the living room or between hotels. A good mix of body weight and cardio work is a solid combination.
Try a Pre-Parade Visualization Exercise - This requires a little "theater of the mind". As you embark on the first stage of summer, imagine momentarily that you can fast forward to September or October and reflect on everything you accomplished or maintained in the months between. Maybe you add some bulk or keep a steady weight. Perhaps you imagine yourself more toned or running faster miles. Whatever your ideal outcome, focus and illustrate that in your mind.
This exercise may feel heady or be intimidating to some but basic visualization is a profound way to push distraction and failure out of your headspace to better grasp the keys to success. See it. Believe it. Achieve it.
Embrace a Variety of Exercises - Instead of labeling the summer shift a challenge in your mind, invite flexibility and spontaneity to the table. Longer, warmer days mean more opportunities to try new activities that can relieve stress and burn calories. If your family is headed to the beach, try body surfing or a stand-up paddleboard. If you're going to the mountains, lace up and hike. Success may not look exactly as it did on paper a few months back with 7am yoga sessions and spin classes, but you can still get your fix with a little creativity and enthusiasm.
The Family Feud - Summer days likely mean the kids are home and you'll spend more time together. Use this to your advantage and bring in some healthy competition to inspire everyone in the house. What's some incentive that everyone will want a piece of? Maybe whoever best keeps their summer fitness goals gets to choose next year's summer vacation destination. Maybe everyone throws in $50 and the person who makes the most gains keeps the green! Have some fun and think of something unique and interesting to the people in your life.
Stay Hydrated and Well-Rested - Don't reach for sugary drinks and booze if you're hoping for real results this summer. Higher temps can really put a strain on an active body, so replenish and recharge withHydr8 for optimal results. And be sure you bake in time for your muscles and joints to recover after physical activity so you can train your best all summer long.
Snack Attack...Combat - More time at home plus more bodies at home equals more time to potentially binge on unhealthy treats. Fight back random snack attacks by stashing healthier options in plain view. If the mini fridge by the pool usually has popsicles and ice cream, make a switch to smoothies. If the pantry in the kitchen usually hides chips and salsa in the summer, swap them out for almonds and fresh fruit. What you keep around you'll end up taking in, so outfit your home for a healthy outcome.
We made a deal, remember? Let's make this the summer we kick summer's butt.